The executive secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Rima Khalaf, is urging both Egypt and Jordan to boycott Israeli settlement products. "Boycotting the settlement products will not hurt Arab countries, including the least advantaged like Egypt and Jordan," Khalaf stated on Tuesday.
Speaking at a conference in Tunis, the UN official advised the Arab states, many of which are secretly importing goods from Israel, to at least boycott the settlement products, pointing out that "many European countries are already boycotting them."
"The Israeli settlements are established on occupied Palestinian land and Israel encourages the Jewish population to settle there while depriving the original Palestinian owners of living there," Khalaf added.
ESCWA presented its "Arab integration" report in Tunis on Tuesday, which experts took two years to prepare. The report calls to revive Arab integration based on the recommendations and proposals formulated during the Arab summits, starting with reducing the tariff for transporting goods by 50 per cent and boycotting the Israeli settlement products.
According to the report, 350 million people live in the Arab region, where a quarter of its young people and one fifth of women are unemployed, and about 50 million are suffering from malnutrition.