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Israel sets up special ministry to tackle BDS

Israeli affairs analyst Anton Shalhat said on Tuesday that the decision to set up a new ministry especially to tackle international boycotts against Israel proves the danger of such campaigns on the country’s economy, Anadolu has reported.

He explained that the increasing boycott, mainly economic, campaigns, have started to pose a threat to the economy of the Israeli settlements in the context of a slow-down in the overall economy.

The Knesset decided to set up the new ministry to focus on the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign. Last year, the EU started to boycott goods originating on Israel’s illegal settlements; the boycott includes academic engagement and investments. Goods from settlements must now be labelled as such within the EU.

Exports from the settlements constitute 8 per cent of all Israeli exports, the value of which was estimated last year at $95 billion.

According to BDS Coordinator Mahmoud Al-Nawajaa, simply labelling settlement goods is not good enough. EU law bans all imports from settlements in the occupied West Bank, he explained. “So why are the goods being allowed into Europe in the first place?”

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