Israeli Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel has ordered a stop in the import of fruits and vegetables from the occupied Palestinian territories, local media reported yesterday.
Despite warnings from Israeli security, army, intelligence and the civil administration that the Palestinian economy is fragile and cannot withstand such steps, Ariel insisted on his decision.
“This is a populist, irresponsible decision that derives solely from political considerations at the expense of the security of the entire public, including the settlers,” security sources told Channel 2.
The minister has justified his decision saying the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture has decided to stop importing sheep from Israel.
If implemented, the minister’s decision is estimated to cause a loss of 1 million shekels ($0.27 million) per day for the Palestinian economy.
According to Israeli media, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can overrule the minister’s decision.