On Monday, the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, officially announced its support for the BDS movement and called, for the first time, on the international community to “impose sanctions on Israel” to end its ongoing, grave violations of Palestinian rights as stipulated by international law.
This is the most explicit and official adoption of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement by the PLO.
Specifically, a statement released by the Palestinian Central Council, the second highest authority in the PLO, agreed to:
Adopt the BDS movement and call on states around the world to impose sanctions on Israel to put an end to its flagrant violations of international law, its continued aggression against the Palestinian people, and to the apartheid regime [Israel has] imposed on them.
This statement emerged from a PLO meeting centered on the Trump administration’s efforts to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in contravention of decades of US policy and in direct violation of international law. The meeting took place in occupied Ramallah on January 14-15, and included the majority of the PLO Central Council’s 109 members.
It also comes in the wake of Israel’s escalating theft of Palestinian land through its expansion of illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territory and its ruling party’s escalating efforts to annex all illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. To date, there are more than 600,000 illegal Israeli settlers in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) said:
As the leadership of the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights, we welcome the PLO’s decision to officially and unequivocally declare its support for the BDS movement, already supported across the breadth of Palestinian society in Palestine and in exile. This declaration, along with the PLO’s unprecedented call for sanctions against Israel, will further enhance the growth and impact of BDS across the world in pursuit of Palestinian freedom, justice and equality.
The PLO’s executive branch should implement the Central Council’s decisions by calling for states to impose meaningful sanctions on Israel’s regime of military occupation and apartheid, like those imposed on apartheid South Africa.
With this official Palestinian backing of BDS, we shall work more diligently than ever with our popular base and international allies to push for a two-way military embargo on Israel, the suspension of free trade agreements with it, and the cessation of trade with or investment in any Israeli or international company involved in Israel’s annexation of occupied Palestinian land and flagrant violation of Palestinian human rights.