Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the Palestinian Authority on Monday to stop opposing economic peace with Israel.
“Israel aspires to economic peace,” Netanyahu said at the start of a Likud faction meeting on Monday. “We have removed checkpoints, eased the lives of Palestinians and are working all the time to advance the Palestinian economy. Despite this, the Palestinians are opposing economic peace and are taking steps that in the end hurt themselves.”
Netanyahu cited Palestinian opposition to Israel’s recent entrance to the OECD and the Palestinian boycott of Israeli products made in the West Bank as examples of counter-productive Palestinian actions.
“Israel is aiming for peace and economic prosperity,” Netanyahu said. “The Palestinians must decide if they are aiming for peace or not.”
The prime minister’s declarations come following a decision by the Palestinian Authority to promote the boycott against goods produced in the Israeli settlements.
Israel sold NIS 15 billion worth of goods to the Palestinians in 2009, while Palestinian sales to Israel were about NIS 1.5 billion, though only about half of each amount was actually manufactured in the two places and the rest was imported. The settlements employ around 25,000 Palestinians.