Published Monday, 28 July 2014
In the letter, Councillor Dáire Hughes wrote that "continuing to trade Israeli goods while unwarranted military action against Palestine is ongoing is arguably unethical".
His request was in reference to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, where over 1,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and nearly 50 Israelis have been killed.
Councillor Hughes went on to ask retailers for a list of all products from Israel or the occupied territories in order to provide customers with the ability to boycott Israeli products.
However unionist politicians are now calling for the mayor to resign over the move.
"The tone and wording of the letter is for want of a better word, actually sinister," UKIP Councillor Henry Reilly said.
"The fact that an elected mayor, the main leader in the area will send what is a very dictatorial letter to major employers asking them to disclose commercial facts.
"Now I don't think that's acceptable and I've been talking to people from all sections of the community who really do think that this has gone way over the top."
In a statement Councillor Hughes said: "My personal initiative as a Newry & Mourne Councillor, after being asked for this information by constituents was welcomed by most and in particular those many people who share the frustration and anger of the growing humanitarian disaster in Gaza.
"It is a reflection of the growing awareness of the people in Newry and Mourne who on a daily basis are reading of ever increasing civilian casualties including hundreds of children due to the ongoing Israeli military onslaught.
"We need to see an immediate and verifiable ceasefire in this conflict and an end to the blockade of Gaza by Israel. Pressure for this to happen is not just coming from Newry and Mourne but from around the globe."
On Saturday, a large demonstration took place outside the US consulate in Belfast against Israeli actions in the Gaza strip.
On Monday, Muslim and Jewish representatives will be among those attending an inter-denominational event organised by the Irish Friends of Palestine to remembers those who have died in Gaza.
© UTV News