Thursday, December 17, 2009

PA Confiscates, Destroys $50,000 Worth of Israeli Goods

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
A7 News

The Palestinian Authority, encouraged by European Union boycotts of products in Judea and Samaria, dumped $50,000 worth of Dead Sea cosmetics in trash containers on Wednesday. The Dead Sea beauty products, including shampoo, face cream and hand lotion, are manufactured under the widely known Ahava brand.The company’s headquarters on a kibbutz located less than a mile from the Dead Sea and part of the land restored to Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967.

PA authorities also confiscated candies from the Barkan industrial area in Samaria, according to the French news agency AFP.

A PA statement alleged that the confiscated goods exceeded their expiration date, but Munthar Erakat, described by the Jordan Times as a ”local official,” said, "This destruction ... is in keeping with the decision of the Palestinian leadership to prevent the import and sale of products produced in the settlements.”

The Ahava products have grown from a small stand 20 years ago to an internationally-known company that sells more than $150 million worth of products in 35 countries. The American investment firm Shamrock Holdings owns 20 percent of the company.

The company was not available for comment on the PA’s confiscation.

It has been the target of several boycotts. Pro-Arabs lobbied the London department store Harrods in 2002 to take Ahava products off its shelves along with other Israeli products, ranging from pretzels to wine.

Earlier this week, Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen asked the Dutch Finance Ministry to investigate the status of Ahava products at the behest of Dutch Socialist Party parliamentarian Harry van Bommel, an avid pro-Palestinian activist.

Ahava products are exported to Holland with a "Made in Israel" stamp, but Dutch socialists say the beneficial minerals infused in Ahava products belong to Arabs.

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