The American company, “Ben & Jerry’s”, said that it will stop selling its ice cream in the Palestinian territories.
“Selling Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in the occupied Palestinian territories goes against our values,” the company added on Monday.
It refers to the occupied Palestinian territory, the West Bank, which has been under Israeli control since 1967.
Ben & Jerry’s said the move reflects the concerns of “our fans and our trusted partners.”
In a statement posted on its Twitter and Instagram pages, it confirmed that the changes would be made by allowing the current licensing arrangements to expire until the end of next year.
But the company will not say how it will prevent its products from reaching places where it does not want to be sold.
Ben & Jerry’s did not explain why the decision was announced now – but the company has faced years of pressure from activists as it operates a factory in Israel.
“We have a long-term partnership with the licensee, which manufactures Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Israel and distributes it in the region,” it said in a statement.
“We have worked to change this, so we have informed the licensee that we will not renew the license agreement when it expires at the end of next year.”
It also operates two “fresh ice cream parlors” in Israel — one located in Katzir and the other south of Tel Aviv, according to the company’s website.
It said it would distribute its goods in Israel through a different agreement, details of which will be announced “when we are ready.”
However, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett criticized Ben & Jerry’s decision, saying its decision was a “morally wrong”.
He added: “The boycott of Israel – a democracy surrounded by islands of terror – reflects a complete loss of direction. The boycott does not and will not succeed, and we will fight it with all our might.”
More than 440,000 Israeli settlers live among about 3 million Palestinians in the West Bank, land captured and occupied by Israel in the 1967 war.
The Palestinians say this is the stronghold of their future state. Most countries consider Israeli settlements on Palestinian land illegal. Israel disputes this.
Britain’s Unilever, which has owned Ben & Jerry’s since 2000, confirmed that the decision was made and announced by Ben & Jerry’s and its independent board of directors.
“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a very complex and sensitive matter,” Unilever said in a statement.
“As a global company, the Unilever brands are available in more than 190 countries, and in each of these countries our priority is to serve consumers by providing essential products that contribute to their health, well-being and enjoyment,” she added.
It also said it remains “fully committed” to maintaining a presence in Israel.
Ben & Jerry’s – founded in 1978 by friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield – has a track record of campaigning on social issues such as LGBT rights and climate change.
Vermonters for Justice in Palestine said in a statement that the company’s latest decision fails to address the “outrage at the Israeli government’s actions against Palestinians living in the occupied territories.”
Instead, she says, the company should “completely withdraw from Israel”.