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(MADA) condemns the Israeli anti-boycott bill

Ramallah- 19 July 2011: The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) strongly condemns the passing of the Israeli anti-boycott bill in the Knesset on Monday 11 July 2011. The legislation makes any calls for the academic, cultural or economic boycott of Israel a civil offence, and is applicable to Israel proper and the occupied Palestinian territories of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. This new law further limits freedom of expression, opinion and assembly in the region and stands in direct contravention to articles 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). MADA fears that with the implementation of this legislation, the oPt will see a steep rise in the number of violations committed against journalists and a further suppression of Palestinian voices.

This new sanction and Israel’s continuing disregard for international human rights law signals a dangerous time for the Palestinian population in general, and Palestinian journalists who cover peaceful activities in particular.

Boycott is a peaceful means of resistance, which are a guaranteed right under international law, and stands as one of the strongest forms of dissent against the existence, continual construction and expansion of settlements in the Palestinian territories. These settlements maintain illegal status under article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states that:“the Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”.

MADA center demands that international institutions of law, justice and government apply pressure on Israel to repeal this legislation and abide by international law, the conventions of which it is also a signatory.