Former Palestinian ministers in Jewish settlement dates scandal

Harvesting dates (AFP)

Mohammad Ayesh

Middle East Eye  /  November 12, 2021

Palestinian sources confirmed on Wednesday that the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) had ordered the arrest of two former Palestinian ministers pending investigations, according to the London-based Al-Araby al-Jadeed newspaper.

The two ministers were arrested after their involvement in “marketing Israeli settlement dates and changing the origin of those products as Palestinian”, in order to pass them to markets that boycott settlement goods.

According to the sources, who requested anonymity, six other people were arrested alongside the ministers, and an arrest warrant has been issued for a seventh person currently abroad.

One of the two detained former officials is a current board member of the Palestine Investment Fund and was arrested on Tuesday, while the other minister owns palm farms in Jericho, in the eastern West Bank, and served as an agriculture minister in previous Palestinian governments.

Investigations into the case began at the end of October, after the owners of two Palestinian companies working in the field of agricultural products were arrested. An arrest warrant was also issued for a businessman who is based outside the country, while his office manager was arrested, according to the newspaper.

Mohammad Ayesh is an Arab journalist currently based in London