RAMALLAH, July 6 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) on Tuesday threatened to ban Israeli dairy products and meat imports in the Palestinian markets in response to a similar Israeli decision banning West Bank products from being sold in Jerusalem.
The Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture presented a plan to the government "to respond to the Israeli decision based on reciprocity with Israel, and prevent the importing of Israeli products to the West Bank," said Azzam Tbaila, deputy agriculture minister.
The Israeli decision took effect as for July 1, few months after the PNA adopted a plan to remove products of illegal Jewish settlements from the Palestinian stores in the West Bank.
In its campaign, the PNA was careful to distinguish between the products of settlements, which the international community sees as illegally built on occupied Palestinian lands, and the products manufactured in Israel.
Tbaila said that he believes Israel barred the Palestinian products in Jerusalem in a bid to press the PNA to stop its campaign to boycott the settlements' products.
The settlements have been a thorny issue in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
The Palestinian exports of dairy products and meat to Jerusalem are estimated at 10 million Israeli shekels (about 2.5 million U.S. dollars) per month, while Israeli exports to the West Bank of the same items stand at 60 million shekels.