The Mayor of Ma'ale Adumim has claimed that South Africa's decision to boycott products produced in the illegal Israeli settlement will harm the Palestinian economy and workers.
Israeli newspaper Maariv reported that Beni Kashriel, the mayor of the occupied East Jerusalem settlement, has sent an urgent letter to South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane to complain about the boycott. In it he argues that boycotting Ma'ale Adumim's products or labelling goods as 'products produced in settlements built on West Bank soil' will have a negative effect not only on the settlement but also local Palestinians.
The decision to boycott settlement goods was made by the South African Parliament in Pretoria. All goods must now be accurate about the country of origin.
Mayor Kashriel pointed out that Ma'ale Adumim has more than 320 factories employing 5,000 Jewish and Palestinian workers.
"This decision will definitely harm the good relationship with more than 2,500 Palestinians who will lose their livelihood," he said. "If this goes ahead, the Palestinian unemployment rate, which stands at 35 per cent, will rise."
The mayor's letter included an invitation to the South African Foreign Minister to visit the settlement in order to see for herself what he called "the good neighbourhood and commercial relationships between Jews and Palestinians".