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News Code: 637


UK Muslims: No Israeli Dates in Ramadan

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) -  Almost three weeks ahead of the holy fasting month, British Muslims are campaigning against consuming dates produced in Israeli settlements during Ramadan.

"We want to draw everyone’s attention to the 'Check the Label - Boycott Israeli Dates' campaign by holding a national day of action," the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) said in a statement.

"Buying these dates will mean that your money is going towards supporting the theft of Palestinian land and the oppression of Palestinians." Britain is the biggest market of dates produced in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Most Muslims break their fast during Ramadan with dates as Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, is set to start next month.

Most dedicate their time during the holy month to become closer to Allah through self-restraint, good deeds and prayer. British Muslims will distribute leaflets outside mosques after Friday prayers to discourage people against consuming Israeli Medjoul dates during Ramadan.

Posters will also be put up in mosques and local shops for the same purpose. Campaigners will also make a list with the supermarkets that label the Israeli dates as their own product, including Asda, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Tesco.

The Muslim campaign against the Israeli dates is supported by more than 20 organizations, including Friends of Al-Aqsa and Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the biggest anti-Israeli group in the UK and Europe.

There are more than 164 Jewish settlements in the West Bank, eating up more than 40 percent of the occupied West Bank. The international community considers all settlements on the occupied land illegal.

According to the Boycott Israel Campaign in the UK, over 50 percent of the world’s Medjoul dates are produced in Israel and 60 percent of Israeli dates are grown on illegal settlement plantations in the Jordan Valley. Israeli made profits of $265 million from dates in 2011. Britain is home to a Muslim community of nearly 2.7 million.