Arab states consider new Israel boycott
Monday 31 March 1997
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.
- 1 Reyhaneh Jabbari: Iran due to execute woman for murder of her alleged attempted rapist
- 2 Expert urges cat lovers to own just one animal each
- 4 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before character like Homer or Lisa
- 5 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
The Aral Sea: Nasa pictures show how what was once the fourth largest lake in the world has become almost completely dry
British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...
£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...
£27000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client who are...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Huxley Associates are currentl...