BARCELONA, April 20, 2017 (WAFA) –The Barcelona City Council voted on Wednesday to condemn Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and called to end complicity in Israel’s violations of international law, and affirmation of the legitimacy of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian human rights.
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) hailed the council’s step describing it as a “historic” decision.
The Barcelona City Council voted to “Condemn the Israeli occupation and policies of colonization of Palestinian territories and the plunder, exploitation, destruction and depletion of Palestinian natural resources and wealth, including land and water.”
It also voted to ensure that its public procurement policies incorporate clauses guaranteeing respect for human rights in order to “prevent the Barcelona City Council from having any kind of complicity with this occupation, violation of human rights and plundering of resources.”
The council also backed the right of BDS to call for boycott of the Israeli occupation by recognizing the legitimacy of “nonviolent campaigns promoted by Palestinian and international civil society for defending international and human rights law in Palestine.”
“We warmly welcome this victory for human rights and salute the Barcelona City Council for taking this significant step forward to uphold Palestinian rights under international law,” said Rafeef Ziadah, member of the International Secretariat of the BNC. “After 50 years of Israel's military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and decades of its regime of apartheid and settler-colonialism, it is heartening to see people of conscience adopting the logic of nonviolent pressure promoted by the fast-growing BDS movement.”
The BNC said in a statement that the Barcelona City Council’s recognition of the right to advocate for Palestinian rights through BDS campaigns “is a triumph for free speech and democratic rights in Europe.”
It said: “At a time of shrinking democratic space for citizens and civil society across Europe, it is empowering to witness how citizens and elected officials are recognizing that ending their institutions’ involvement in Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights intersects with domestic agendas that promote gender, social, economic and environmental justice.”
More than 70 local authorities across Spain have adopted diverse measures to end local complicity in Israel’s regime of occupation, apartheid and settler-colonialism, said BNC.
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.