Brighton and Hove City Council will debate whether it should join an international movement boycotting Israel.

Independent councillor Ben Duncan has proposed a motion calling on the authority to support the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

The scope of the motion has yet to be finalised but Coun Duncan said he hoped it would lead to the council adopting a policy of not buying goods and services from Israeli companies or foreign companies working in the occupied territories.

Queens Park Councillor Duncan, suspended from the Green Party after a tweet referring to the armed forces as ‘hired killers’, said: “It is responding to the thousands of people in the city who want to see some action taken on the violation of human rights by Israel. It is about the council saying it supports international law.”

The biggest contractor potentially affected would be Veolia, which gets rid of all waste in Brighton and Hove but also runs services in the occupied West Bank.

But Coun Duncan accepted it was unlikely the council would get out of its 25-year contract, signed in 2003, with the French company.

The BDS campaign was started in 2005 by Palestinian political parties, unions and associations, who said they were responding to Israel’s “persistent violations of international law”.

If the motion is passed at a full council meeting on October 23, the council would join authorities including West Dunbartonshire, Bristol City and Tower Hamlets in London in having publically expressed support for sanctions.

Coun Duncan’s motion has been seconded by Green councillor Ruth Buckley, deputy leader of the council.

Israel has faced mounting criticism over the latest round of fighting in Gaza, in which 2,016 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed since hostilities started on July 8.

As to whether sanctions amounted to collective punishment of the Israeli population, Coun Duncan added: “I would rather see a farmer go out of business than a child killed – but of course I would rather see neither.”

Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign is due to hold a rally on Sunday from midday until 3pm to raise awareness of the motion.

Secretary Barry Stierer said: “I think people in the city feel particularly strongly about Palestine and that is obvious from the support we have had.”

Conservative councillor Garry Peltzer Dunn, deputy leader of the opposition, said he would need to see the motion to comment fully.

He said things happening across the Middle East were “horrendous” but “I am a local councillor representing local people”.