Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group may stop delivering goods ordered through its AliExpress service to Palestinian cities in the West Bank, according to an Israeli television report.
Channel 12 news reported Monday that Palestinians who ordered products through AliExpress and other online retailers in China have received text messages saying shipments to areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority will cease in January.
“Dear customer… starting from January 1, 2022, parcels from Israel will not be able to be delivered to Palestine,” the text messages read, according to a screenshot.
Citing unnamed sources involved in the matter, the network said the change was due to the policy of the Palestine Post — the PA’s postal service — to have customers write “Palestine” as the destination country rather than Israel. Many Palestinians are reportedly unaware of the policy and thus write Israel.
The sources also claimed the Palestine Post was refusing to process packages that had Israel listed as the destination.
The report said Chinese sites decided to completely halt deliveries to Palestinian towns because the confusion was not worthwhile in light of the relatively low number of orders from there.
“This is an announcement intended for residents of the Palestinian Authority and is connected to arrangements for package deliveries between online commerce companies abroad and the Palestinian Authority,” the Israel Postal Company said.
Despite the announcement by AliExpress, the report said talks between unidentified parties were being held in a bid to resolve the matter.