Israeii dates flood Moroccan markets during Holy month of Ramadan
Rabat – Rachid Bougha
Moroccans campaigning against \"normalisation\" with Israel, have condemned the mass importation of Israeli dates in Moroccan markets during the current month of Ramadan.
The supervisor of the Islamic Jurisprudence Academy in Jeddah, Ahmad Risony, has prohibited the sale of dates imported from Israel.
\"Israeli dates, like all goods produced by the occupation, should not be kept or bought. It is ‘haram’ (forbidden) to sell, import, buy or derive benefit from them\" complained Risony.
Human rights activist Khalid Sufyani, coordinator of the national community in support of Iraq and Palestine, condemned trade \"normalisation\" with the occupation saying: \"We condemn and denounce the crime of promoting Israeli dates in the Moroccan marketplace. The purchase and consumption of these dates is an insult to the feelings of the Moroccan people who reject normalisation with Israel, and the support of the Zionist occupation, and strengthening its existence in occupied Palestine.\"
According to the London-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), dates have been Israel’s leading fruit export and account for about 15% of export from Israel into the EU. It is estimated that Israel produces over 10,000 tonnes of dates per year and the total income for Israel from dates in a year is approximately £80 million - the majority of which are sold during the month of Ramadan.
Illegal Israeli settlements produce Medjoul dates that are grown for export on former Palestinian land in the Jordan Valley. The Jordan Valley is a fertile area of the West Bank \"where Israel has been pursuing a deliberate policy of stealing land and water from Palestinians as well as demolishing their buildings and refusing to allow Palestinians to build structures such as irrigation ditches\" according to the PSC.
President of the Moroccan Association to support the Palestinian struggle, Mohammed Benjelloun Andalusi, denounced the flood of Israeli dates into the Moroccan market in Ramadan, explaining that in the past, these dates were packaged under the names of camouflage companies.
Andalusi confirmed that Israeli dates enter Morocco via Israeli public bodies, which is a sign of the growing process of normalisation between the Moroccan government and Israel, pointing out that his association refuses cooperation of any kind with Israel, and is demanding the government introduce a law criminalising all forms of normalisation with Israel. \"My Association has not received any official response\" the activist added.
Varieties of Israeli dates, which reach the Moroccan market through Europe, compete with dates imported from Tunisia, Algeria, UAE, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, as the domestic production is unable to sustain the heavy demand for these fruits, which traditionally are eaten to break fast at sunset during Ramadan. Israeli dates carry serial commercial numbers accompanied by addresses and phone numbers as well as the factories which have produced and packaged them in Israel and bear names such as \"Bat Sheva\", which are the most popular dates in the Moroccan market, along with\" Jordan River\" and \"Jordan Plains\".