Campaigners to picket Israeli Company importing Valentine’s Day Flowers

The Boycott Israeli Goods campaign is planning a mass picket of the depot on Saturday February 10th at 1pm in opposition to the sale of Israeli goods and in support of Palestinian farmers who are not able to market their goods internationally The aim is to draw attention to this company’s sale of flowers from occupied Palestinian land on Valentine’s day.

We are asking the British public not to buy blood stained flowers for their loved ones this year. Carmel Agrexco is the largest importer of illegal settlement goods into the UK. The Valentine’s day period is one of their busiest as the company deals with large amounts of fresh flowers from Israel and the settlements. In the UK Agrexco is known under the Carmel, Coral and Jaffa brands.

The UK is the most important foreign market for Israeli fresh produce. Agrexco exports a wide range of produce to the UK including peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, herbs, spices, flowers and avocadoes. Agrexco is the largest exporter of settlement produce for sale overseas. Much of this produce comes from colonies in the Jordan Valley. Carmel Agrexco have had dealings with the colonies of Tomer, Mehola, Hamra, Ro’i, Massua, Patzael, Mekhora, Netiv Ha-Gdud and Bet Ha-Arava. Previously there have been three blockades of this company stopping work at the factory. The company persistently refuses to press charges against the activists because they are scared of having to prove the legality of their business in open court. This follows from actions of 11th November 2004, when Palestine-Solidarity protesters from London and Brighton were arrested after taking part in non-violent blockades outside the same company and 30 August 2006, when demonstrators blockaded the company for 11 hours and no arrests were made.

In September 2005, a Judge ruled that Agrexco (UK) must prove that their business is lawful. The acquittal of the seven activists before they were able to present their defence meant that the court did not have to rule on the legality of Agrexco-Carmel’s involvement in the supply of produce from illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

In September 2006 protesters blockaded the company again, Carmel refused to have demonstrators arrested because this would have lead to another embarrassing court appearance where their business methods would have been investigated by a British court of law.

The Valentine’s day picket aims to expose this company’s complicity in murder, theft and damage of occupied land, collective punishment, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and other breaches of International Law to public scrutiny.

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