A popular Israeli retailer has announced it will stop selling books from the Palestinian territories, citing a spike in anti-Israel protests and the rise of new boycotts against Israel.
Ahead of the holiday shopping season, the Israeli company Wayfair has said it would be closing its stores in the Palestinian-run territories and moving its business to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
On Wednesday, Wayfair CEO Amnon Shaked told the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth that the company is moving its entire business to its headquarters in Tel Aviv, citing “security concerns” in the West and East Bank.
“We are taking a number of steps in order to preserve the viability of our operations in the occupied territories,” Shaked said.
“We will continue to sell to all territories, including the occupied West Bank, which is the heart of the occupation.”
Wayfair is one of the most well-known retailers in Israel, with more than 4 million customers.
Shaked did not give a reason for the change.
But the move comes after years of pressure from Arab governments, businesses and consumer groups to boycott Israel and its settlement enterprises.
Since 1967, the occupied Palestinian territories have been under Israeli military rule, which includes the settlements and Jewish settlements built on land Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
The boycott has been a long-standing campaign, but the recent wave of anti-Semitic violence has forced retailers to reconsider their long-held positions.
Last year, American retailer Gap announced it would stop selling from the West bank.
The company said the boycott was harming sales and negatively impacting its reputation in the United States.
Earlier this year, French fashion house Marc Jacobs said it was pulling its entire clothing line from the territories, saying that boycotts would hurt the company’s brand.
In recent weeks, Israeli officials have pushed back against boycotts and have announced a number that have already been approved by the international community.
Earlier Wednesday, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted unanimously to condemn Israeli settlement expansion, including plans to build new housing in the settlements.
The council said that the settlements have caused “a severe and pervasive” human rights crisis in the territories and called on Israel to immediately halt settlement activity.
The vote comes amid a growing boycott movement across the world, with the latest to include the United Kingdom and France.