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Palestinian Authority Bans Sale of Israeli Produce and Poultry

Palestinians living in the West Bank are facing possible food shortages with word that the Palestinian Authority is banning Israeli poultry and produce from its markets. The move is said to be in retaliation for a similar ban on Palestinian produce in Israeli markets. Both sides see the respective bans as means of protecting their own agricultural sectors, but the Palestinians rely heavily on goods manufactured or sold to the PA. The Palestinian cabinet made the decision to implement the ban at a meeting in Ramallah on December 26. Meanwhile, Saeb Erekat, the Secretary General of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, injected some holiday spirit into his stern condemnation of an Israeli announcement of intent to authorize new housing units on land it claims. In a statement, Erekat said, “While the world is celebrating Christmas with its spirit of peace and joy, the Grinch ‘occupation’ decided to steal the Christmas spirit from the people of Palestine.” Levity aside, he said, “it is of utmost urgency for the International Criminal Court to accelerate the process of investigating Israeli crimes.”