The Palestinian Authority has decided to cut ties with Apple Watch, its flagship gadget, as part of a move that threatens the Israeli government’s long-held claims to the territory, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Wednesday.
The decision is a blow to Apple Watch and to its brand, which is popular among Palestinian and Israeli Jews, and is likely to hurt the Palestinian Authority, which has already been in a struggle with the Israeli and US governments over the Apple Watch.
Apple declined to comment on the report, but said in a statement:We are saddened to learn of the decision by the Palestinian leadership to cut off all communications with the Apple Company.
It is unacceptable that a company with the most loyal fan base in the world should cut off communication with a partner in such a significant way.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday that Apple should stop working with the Palestinian people.
Abbas said that the Palestinians will not support any Palestinian entity with Apple products.
“We won’t buy or sell anything that will infringe on the rights of the Palestinian citizens of Israel, the right of the state of Palestine, or the Palestinian cause,” Abbas told Netanyahu.
Apple has faced fierce criticism for its ties with the Palestinians.
Earlier this year, Apple released a new iPhone 5 that was sold in Palestinian territories in an attempt to quell a wave of protests over the Israeli military’s treatment of Palestinians.