Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Israel considers suspending Palestinian exports and imports

By K. Künzl - October 29, 2019
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [trade and diplomatic relations]

The Israeli government announced plans on Friday to halt imports and exports to the West Bank and Gaza Strip following Palestine’s halt on imports of Israeli calves.

“Israel is proposing to stop passing commodities from abroad to the occupied Palestinian Territories, as well as prohibiting the export of olive oil and dates from the Occupied Territories,” the Israeli Public Broadcaster KAN, Al-Watan Voice reported.

The Palestinian prime minister, Mohammed Shtayyeh called for a boycott on all calf imports from Israeli in mid-October.

The decision sparked outcry among Israeli growers, “We are stuck with tens of thousands of calves, in which we invested tens of millions, which have reached the weight that they’re ready to sell, and we can’t do anything with them,” Doron Beidich, chairman of the Association of Calf Raisers, told Al-Monitor.

Israel imports calves from abroad which are grown and fattened locally before exporting them to the Palestinian territories. 

“A whole economic branch that provides for hundreds of families is on the brink of collapse. We are talking about 400 families and 5,000 people employed indirectly, who make a living from this industry,” Beidich continued.

Estimates suggest that 90 per cent of the beef calves consumed in the Palestinian Territories come from Israeli farmers.

Shtayyeh’s move is seen as part of a larger movement to 'disengage’ from the Israeli economy.

Facing a shortage, butchers in Palestine have raised beef prices by 25 per cent.

“According to reports from Ramallah, one kilogram of veal has risen from 45 shekel to 55 and even more. The price of a live calf increased by 4 shekel for every kilogram – an additional 1,000 to 1,600 shekel per calf,” The Jerusalem Press reports.

Israeli farmers rely heavily on beef sales to the Palestinian market because of the popularity of frozen Kosher meats imported from Europe. 

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