by Efrat Forsher
Ten deputy ambassadors, several U.N. officials visit Barkan Industrial Park in Samaria, hailed as prominent example of Israeli-Palestinian coexistence
The deputy envoys in Barkan Industrial Park in Samaria, Friday
Photo: Roee Khadi
Ten deputy ambassadors from around the world and several senior U.N. officials visited Barkan Industrial Park in Samaria Friday, as part of a joint program seeking to showcase the park as a prominent example of successful Israeli-Palestinian economic cooperation.
The program is the brainchild of the Shomron Regional Council's Foreign Relations Department, together with the Judea and Samaria Chamber of Commerce.
The tour took place as part of the council's public diplomacy efforts, which are backed by the Strategic Affairs Ministry.
The ministry is tasked with spearheading Israel's efforts to counter the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.
The U.N. delegation met with Shomron Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, who briefed the dignitaries on the area's adamant struggle to counter the attempts to boycott and delegitimize businesses in Judea and Samaria.
The delegation also visited the Alon Group facility in the park, which was the scene of a gruesome terrorist attack last month.
"As we have built coalitions in the U.S. Congress and the European Parliament, we continue to work to create coalitions to support Judea and Samaria at the U.N. as well," Dagan said.
"I have no doubt that anyone who visits us and sees and understands reality as it is. Today, we met with senior U.N. officials who said they were happy to learn about the daily reality in Samaria, as they knew little about it before [the visit]. We will continue to act to influence opinion leaders from around the world."
Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan noted that "BDS activities against Judea and Samaria are just a cover story for their activists' real objective – boycotting the entire State of Israel and eliminating it as a Jewish state. This is why it is so important to us to counter these boycott attempts and show the world the Israeli-Palestinian coexistence in Judea and Samaria."
The latter, he said, "thrives thanks to economic investments in the area and it is important we protect them."
Judea and Samaria Chamber of Commerce President Avi Zimmerman said, "Time and again, international leaders visiting Judea and Samaria discover that this is a region full of opportunity, cooperation and vision. Our distinguished guests today identified with the view that Judea and Samaria is a hub of opportunities for economic growth that benefits all populations.
"We will be in touch with their embassies to explore expanding [mutual] markets and expanding Judea and Samaria's international network of the chambers of commerce and industry," he said.
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