World

Gaza war to last months, Israel says, as fears of conflict spread rise

RAMALLAH: Israeli forces killed two Palestinians on Tuesday in a raid on a refugee camp near the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

The two — aged 17 and 31 — were shot dead in the Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron, the ministry said.

The army said it carried out a “counterterrorism” operation in the town of Fawwar.

It said during the operation “assailants hurled rocks, Molotov cocktails and fireworks at Israeli security forces.”

The forces “responded with riot dispersal means and live fire. Hits were identified,” the army added in a statement.

A resident from the camp told AFP that troops stormed the camp from its southern and northern entrances.

“The two men were killed just outside their homes,” he said, asking to remain anonymous over security concerns. He said after the death of the first man there were clashes in which five others were wounded and one of them later died.

Boycott

Since the war in Gaza began, plenty of posters, stickers and leaflets in the occupied West Bank have urged Palestinians to boycott Israeli products and buy local.

“By us, for us,” reads the slogan of the new campaign that has spread across towns in recent weeks, as calls to ban Israeli goods also grow in other countries.

The slogan is everywhere at one well-known supermarket chain in the West Bank, where “Made in Palestine” fare like water, milk and toilet paper take pride of place.

“It’s all about highlighting Palestinian products,” said Omar Bawatneh, manager of a branch in Ramallah.

The chain estimates that sales of Israeli products at its stores have dropped by 30 percent since the outbreak of the war between Israel and Hamas.

At supermarkets across the occupied territory, young people in particular have “developed a political conscience and are consuming more and more Palestinian products,” Bawatneh said.

“They look at the labels, go online to see the list of products to boycott,” he added, referring to the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Launched by Palestinian civil society organizations in 2005, BDS advocates political and economic action against Israel over its treatment of Palestinians.

The movement is regularly accused of anti-Semitism by Israel and its key backer, the US.

But co-founder Omar Barghouti told AFP “the BDS movement categorically opposes all forms of racism, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.”

He said it drew inspiration from South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement.

The founders have three demands: “Ending Israel’s 1967 military occupation, dismantling its system of apartheid, and respecting the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their lands and receive reparations.”

BDS also advocates a boycott of Israeli sports, cultural and academic events, and calls for pressure on foreign companies that “collaborate” with Israel.

Eighteen years after its emergence, the campaign has gained global momentum, with branches in 40 countries.

“I support this movement because we can only change things here through international pressure,” said Ofer Neiman, an Israeli member of the group.

“This is a very good campaign that uses the principles of non-violence and human rights to bring about change,” the left-wing activist said.

In his daily life, he “tries to boycott products from settlements.”

Source: Arab News

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