Arab states consider new Israel boycott

Cairo - Arab foreign ministers last night recommended suspending dealings with Israel and the reactivation of the boycott in their strongest concerted response yet to the Jewish settlement dispute.

The ministers voted unanimously in support of the cessation of moves towards normalisation, the closure of Israeli offices and missions and withdrawal from multilateral Middle East talks.

The resolution, proposed at the second session of a regular six-monthly meeting at Arab League headquarters, follows Israel's decision to go ahead with a Jewish settlement in Arab East Jerusalem, a step which angered Palestinians already unhappy with Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing government. Under normal procedure, the proposals will now have to go to Arab heads of state.

The final text of the resolution was not immediately available. But asked if the boycott was in the text, the Syrian Foreign Minister, Farouq al- Shara said: "Yes, yes, clearly ... It is clearer and stronger and it has been adopted unanimously."

Syria has long argued that isolating Israel was the best way to deal with Mr Netanyahu. Some Arab states had abandoned the first-degree boycott, which banned direct commercial dealings with Israeli companies, in the last three years.

However, Farouk Kaddoumi, head of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's foreign affairs department, said the ministers had not discussed countries which have signed full peace treaties with Israel - that is Egypt and Jordan. Israel could interpret breaking relations as a violation of those treaties.

He added that they would now aim to get the backing of heads of state and ensure that the resolutions had a political impact on "the intransigent side [Israel]." One Arab official said earlier that unnamed Arab states had reservations about the resolutions but Kaddoumi said this was not the case. "The resolutions were unanimous," he said.

Israel branded the Arab League resolution as absurd. Foreign ministry spokesman Ygal Palmor said: "Normal neighbourly relations and regional cooperation are supposed to be an asset and a common interest for all countries in this region. It is absurd that they are being deemed as a whip, so to speak, to be used against Israel whenever there is a crisis in the peace process."

The government of Mr Netanyahu has angered all Israel's neighbours but the final straw was the decision to go ahead with the Jewish settlement project in Jabal Abu Ghneim, a part of East Jerusalem known to Jews as Har Homa.

Palestinians see Arab East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. The Israelis captured it in 1967, and have been trying to change the demographic balance in favour of the Jewish community.

Suggested Topics
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
peopleSwimmer also charged with crossing double land lines and excessive speeding
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Marketing Manager - Central London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

1st Line Service Desk Analyst

£27000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client who are...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Huxley Associates

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Huxley Associates are currentl...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style