JERUSALEM: The Palestinian government has announced products from five Israeli companies will be prevented from entering the occupied West Bank, calling it a response to a similar decision by the Jewish state.
“In response to the Israeli decision to ban the entry to Jerusalem of products from five Palestinian companies, the government decided to ban the entry of products from five Israeli companies” to the West Bank, a statement issued after the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday said.
The decision takes effect immediately, it added.
The five targeted firms are dairy companies Tnuva, Strauss and Tara, meat firm Zoglobeck and drinks company Tapuzina.
Palestinians have often threatened to stop buying Israeli products, which represent more than two-thirds of Palestinian imports and amount to nearly $6.5 billion (5.7 billion euros) per year.
But the decision on Tuesday, if implemented effectively, would be a first.
Recently, Israel banned products from five Palestinian businesses from entering Jerusalem, according to Palestinian officials.
Israeli authorities referred questions on the issue to the agriculture ministry, which did not respond to requests for comment.
Over 90 percent of Palestinian exports go to Israel, mainly because of the high costs of transporting goods to anywhere else.
Israel controls all borders to the West Bank, so exports to the rest of the world must pass through Israel.
The international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign calls for an economic boycott of Israel to force it to end its occupation of the West Bank, which it captured in the Six-Day War of 1967.
But due to their dependence on Israel, the Palestinian territories face difficulties in implementing one.