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At Mandela funeral, Abbas says he opposes boycott of Israel

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' public criticism of the international movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) of Israel reveals an absence of any clear strategy within his government.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas prays during a meeting of the Fatah Revolutionary Council in the West Bank city of Ramallah September 1, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman (WEST BANK - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX133QU

The question to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was appropriate in time and place. At a news conference in Johannesburg where he was attending Nelson Mandela's funeral, Abbas was asked about his position regarding the international campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) of Israel.

Abbas’ answer, while not surprising for many considering that he's involved in negotiations, angered supporters of the BDS movement. The Palestinian leader said flat out that he doesn’t support the boycott of Israel, but that he calls for people around the world not to deal with Israeli settlers and their products. “No, we do not support the boycott of Israel,” Abbas said. “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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