Palestinian leader urges Palestinians to join boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel
A Palestinian leader said on Sunday that he wants Palestinians to “join the boycott, the divestment, and sanctions” against Israel, the first time the group has called for the policy since it was created by former US President Bill Clinton in 1997.
The statement by the head of the Palestinian National Initiative for Palestinian Rights (INPIR) Ziad Abu al-Najjar came a day after a Palestinian court ruled that he was the first leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization to be charged with the crime.
The decision, which has no legal force and has drawn harsh criticism from international human rights groups, comes amid an intensifying campaign by the West Bank and Israel against Palestinian leaders, who are also facing charges in other countries.
It also came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday announced that he had signed a memorandum of understanding with the US for an Israeli military campaign against Hamas in Gaza, which Israel accuses of being responsible for the abduction and killing of two American teenagers.
“We demand an end to the occupation, the imposition of restrictions, the occupation of the West bank and Gaza, and the use of the army to impose these measures,” Abu al-‘Najrar said in a statement released by the group.
“We demand the creation of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.”
Abu al-‘najjar was among a group of Palestinian officials to be arrested in the West Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan in October after a demonstration in which he and other activists called for a boycott of Israeli goods, including goods made in the occupied West Bank.
The group also demanded the release of the three activists, who were later convicted of trespassing.
In January, the group announced it was calling for a “global boycott” of Israeli products.
The US Justice Department said in September it was investigating the group for possible criminal activity.
In July, the US Treasury Department accused it of “subverting” US foreign policy.