RAMALLAH, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinian government launched a campaign against Israeli settlements built on occupied lands by urging foreign companies to boycott them, a senior official said on Saturday.
Ihab Bseiso, a spokesperson for the Palestinian government, told Xinhua they have written to hundreds of foreign companies in a bid to seek their support. "The Palestinian letters affirmed that dealing with illegal Israeli settlements breaches the international law and violates the anti-settlement resolutions issued by International Human Rights Council," said Bseiso. "Some (companies of certain) countries have already positively responded."
It was the first time that the Palestinian government has conducted such a campaign against the Israeli settlements. A well- informed Palestinian source revealed that letters were sent to 500 companies in 50 countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa.
The source told Xinhua that the campaign is targeting Israeli companies that have ties with Israeli settlements and are operating abroad.
The launch of the campaign coincided with a recent European Union (EU) decision, which called for its member countries not to deal financially with Israeli institutions that belong to the Israeli settlements.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who on Wednesday visited Brussels, called on all European and international companies operating in the Israeli settlements to immediately stop working there "because this is a clear violation of the international law. "
The settlement issue is considered by the Palestinians as a major obstacle for achieving a just and comprehensive peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, and could lead to a possible failure of the direct peace talks between the two sides restarted in late July.
Meanwhile, the Israeli government is about to announce new invitation of tenders for building more housing units in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
The Israeli Peace Now Movement said last week settlement activities in these territories increased by 70 percent this year, adding that from January to June, Israel built up to 1708 housing units in the settlements.