Palestinian calls for Palestine boycott

A campaign group has launched a boycott with a difference this week - calling on British shoppers to stop buying goods produced in the West Bank and Gaza.

Boycott of Palestinian Goods and Services (BPGS) is also asking traders to stop importing olive oil, figs, dates, soap and flowers from Palestinian sources.

Campaign director Muhsir Mutawakil, who claims in a press release that he converted to Judaism in 1994, said Hamas's control of Gaza had resulted in "religious and gender apartheid" for 120,000 Palestinian Christians and more than two million women.

Rafah-born Mr Mutawakil, who claims he has held "successful" talks with British firms, said: "There is a growing realisation that fostering business dealings and exchanges in the travel, professional, educational and medical sectors with these apartheid-based regimes is counter-productive. Commitments made for 2009 are being renegotiated or dropped."

A Board of Deputies spokesman said it was unaware of BPGS and was opposed to boycotts: "We would like to see a time when peaceful co-operation between Israelis and Palestinians boosts the economies of both peoples. The first step is to encourage trade and not engage in sanctions."

    Last updated: 12:27pm, October 30 2008