By Ramzy Mahmoud
GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – Palestinian resistance group Hamas has welcomed a Kuwaiti decree banning the entry of vessels carrying goods to or from Israel into the country’s territorial waters.
On Saturday, Kuwaiti Public Works Minister Rana Abdullah Al-Fares issued an order banning the entry of commercial vessels loaded with goods to and from Israel into Kuwaiti territorial waters.
This decision “is an application of Kuwait’s policies that seek to support Palestine and its just cause,” Hamas spokesman Hisham Qasim said in a statement.
He said the Kuwaiti decree was “in line with the Arab boycott of the (Israeli) occupation, adopted by the Arab League since the 1950s."
The Hamas spokesman called on other countries to "follow Kuwait’s approach" and restrict trade and maritime traffic with Israel.
Kuwaiti laws ban individuals and companies from concluding agreements with organizations or persons living in Israel or dealing financially or commercially with persons who have an interest in Israel, even if they live outside Israel. It is also illegal to import, exchange, or possess any Israeli goods, commodities or products, whether received directly or indirectly. Products also cannot include any material from Israeli products.
Last year, four Arab countries – the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan – controversially normalized their relations with Israel, in violation of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative that stipulates Israeli withdrawal from lands occupied during the 1967 Middle East war for establishing normal ties. To Palestinians, the normalization deals were "a stab in the back."
*Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara