South Africa intends to ban marketing products made in Israeli West Bank settlements with the labels "Made in Israel," Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies announced.
The move comes as a result of a year and a half of activity by Open Shuhada Street and Attorneys for Human Rights, two South African NGOs together with the Palestinian Popular Struggle coordination committee.
Davies wrote in his official announcement that "consumers in South Africa should not be misled into believing that products originating in the (occupied Palestinian trritories) are products originating from Israel." He added that "the government of South Africa recognizes the State of Israel only within the borders demarcated by the UN in 1948."
Davies spent many years in exile due to his work in the African National Congress and the South African Communist Party during apartheid. According to his statement, "the burden for proving where the products originate will lie with traders."
The ministry will be receiving comments by affected parties until mid-June.
Open Shuhada Street activists have been providing the South African Ministry of Trade and Industry with information on products manufactured in the West Bank, such as cosmetics, soft drinks, and electronics, but marked as "Made in Israel," Davies wrote in his announcement.
Mohammed Khatib, who heads the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, responded to the minister's statement, saying it was "recognition of the injustice the occupation and settlements are causing us, the Palestinians." Khatib said that he thought that this was only a first step, which will lead to the eventual banning of all products manufactured in the settlements.