The Palestinian BDS movement staged a peaceful demonstration at the Ofar trading checkpoint in Ramallah, West Bank, Palestine was conducted on August 5th, 2019. The purpose was to boycott the cheap Israeli goods being flooded into the Palestinian economy while Israel imposes high tariffs on Palestinian goods, if they allow the goods to cross the checkpoints within the occupied West Bank, so that they can be exported or even transported from one city to the other, to begin with. These illegal actions are purposefully damaging to the Palestinian economy, and are an example of neo-colonial economic strategy.
Such policies make it difficult for Palestinians to sell and export their own goods, and allow the domestic economy to be flooded by cheap Israeli goods. All of us Palestinians feel the effects as the local economy is damaged with specific focus on the industries of production and transportation, which in turn limits job opportunities.The results lead to passive ethnic cleansing through the devaluation of Palestinian goods and the prevention of goods export.
At the same time, Israel uses the Palestinian captive market to fuel its own economy and offset the costs of the occupation.
The demonstration took place at a checkpoint outside of Ramallah that controls Palestinian movement and transportation in and out of the city. The checkpoint is located on Palestinian soil miles away from the Green Line, that delimits the occupied West Bank.
As part of the Israel’s occupation policies, heavily armed soldiers check and control the daily lives of our people. The peaceful demonstrators felt the harsh reality of the occupation as they were met with tear gas and the threatening sight of assault rifles and armored military vehicles, which dispersed the crowd. The protestors stood strong for some time, even standing before a semi truck carrying the unwanted goods. They stopped the truck in its tracks up until the point that shots could be heard and a cloud of noxious gas began rising around the protestors. No one was seriously injured but many were hurt and some of the older protestors had to be cared for as the gas incapacitated them for a time.
As long as the Israeli occupation denies us political, economic, and religious freedoms, our human rights, including the right to self-determination, we will continue our struggle for freedom, justice and equality. It is today more urgent than ever for people around the world to stand together with us to end Israel’s regime of oppression against our people, including its neocolonial policies of dispossession and impoverishment, from which not only Israel but business around the world profits.