A tourist photographs a sign painted on a wall in the West Bank biblical town of Bethlehem, calling to boycott Israeli products coming from Israeli settlements, June 5, 2015. AFP/THOMAS COEX
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English town halls and publicly funded universities face "severe penalties" if they institute boycotts of "unethical" companies or Israeli goods under controversial new rules to be outlined by the government this week.The Israeli government praised the ruling.The only exception to the boycott ban, which also covers action against companies involved in the arms trade, fossil fuel and tobacco, would be official sanctions agreed by the central government.The move follows a series of local boycotts in recent years that have angered Israeli authorities.In 2014, Leicester City Council instituted a boycott on goods made in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
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