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PLO member Ashrawi: ‘Made in Israel’ endorses land theft, plunder


Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian leader, activist and member of the PLO Executive Committee, condemned US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to the West Bank Thursday, saying in a press release that it entrenches the occupation.

“The visit of [the] US Secretary to the occupied West Bank is a last ditch effort by the outgoing US administration to entrench its pattern of criminality, illegality, and direct complicity in the colonization of Palestine and dispossession of our people,” Ashrawi said.

“It is also a cynical exploitation by Mr. Pompeo to advance his own personal political goals as the new face of far right ideologues in the US,” she added. 

Beyond criticizing the outgoing US administration, Ashrawi also noted that products made in the West Bank directly contradict international law, saying “Labeling products made inside illegal Israeli settlements as ‘made in Israel’ or ‘products of Israel’ is an outrageous and illegal policy tantamount to de facto recognition of Israel’s annexation of most of the West Bank.” 

“It is an attempt to legitimize the theft of Palestinian land and plunder of Palestinian resources that runs counter fundamental principles of international law and the global consensus,” Ashrawi claimed.

“Further, Pompeo’s pronouncement of hostility against states and international organizations that properly label Israeli settlement products is an affront to the international community’s obligations under the law, including UN Security Council resolution 2334. These products are a product of theft. They must be boycotted, not supported.”

Ashrawi also took aim at the Trump administration’s willingness to provide separate designations of products coming from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, suggesting that it is part of a plan to further disenfranchise and divide the Palestinian people.

She further argued that the US under the Trump administration has bullied and extorted countries into accepting Israel’s violations of international law, referring collectively to the actions as part of the “destructive Trump legacy.”

“The entire world needs to recover from the Trump legacy and the chaos it has created. The Palestinian leadership looks forward to working with responsible states on forging a new path to justice and peace based on mutual respect and commitment to the rule of law,” Ashrawi concluded in her statement.

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