A statement by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejecting a boycott of Israel has infuriated Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) leaders.

“No, we do not support the boycott of Israel,” Abbas told South African reporters last week, The Star reported. “But we ask everyone to boycott the products of the settlements. Because the settlements are in our territories. It is illegal.”

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Abbas’s comments conflict “with the Palestinian national consensus that has strongly supported BDS against Israel since 2005,” BDS movement co-founder Omar Barghouti told Electronic Intifada.

Asserting that said Abbas does not speak for Palestinian Authority Arabs, he said, “There is no Palestinian political party, trade union, NGO network or mass organization that does not strongly support BDS. Any Palestinian official who lacks a democratic mandate and any real public support, therefore, cannot claim to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people when it comes to deciding our strategies of resistance to Israel’s regime of occupation, colonization and apartheid.”

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