Tesco faces legal action over 'West Bank' produce

By staff writers
11 Mar 2010

Human rights campaigners in Swansea are seeking the prosecution of Tesco stores for their trade in produce from Israeli settlements in Palestine.

100 Swansea residents and shoppers have signed a letter demanding legal action against Tesco by the Swansea Trading Standards Office. The letter was presented to the Office along with examples of the produce in question.

Tesco has sold dates labelled as produce of the “West Bank”, which critics say implies that they are produced by Palestinian growers. But Tesco has admitted that the dates are in reality produced by Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which are recognised as illegal by the United Nations.

The campaigners said that “some who buy them unwittingly collude in the settlement land-theft”.

The letter to Trading Standards follows advice from a national association of Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights.

The London-based solicitors have published advice from Matrix counsel Kieron Beale, setting out grounds for the possible prosecution of stores selling Israeli settlement goods.

“The objection to the sale and labelling of these goods is not just legalistic,” explained the activists, “The remorseless expansion of Israeli settlements is recognised by the UK government as an obstacle to peace negotiations”.

They added that “The continuing land-theft, and military operations supporting it, are a daily threat to the life and livelihood of Palestinians in what’s left of their country”.

[Ekk/1]

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