TEHRAN (AFP) - Iran's government has endorsed a bill that will sanction foreign companies doing business with Israel, in the face of the Jewish state's deadly assault on Gaza, the Iran newspaper reported on Monday. The sanctions will apply to multinationals, which have branches in Iran and which "invest in the occupied lands (of Palestine) or help the Zionist regime," the government-run paper said. The draft bill adopted on Sunday will now be put before parliament, which is expected to pass it overwhelmingly. The report gave no details of the nature of the envisaged sanctions. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday called on Muslim countries to unite to bring about an end to Israel's "genocide" against the people of Gaza. The Iranian foreign ministry called for "any measure to stop the blockade, invasion and violence" in Gaza. "In all areas, including economic, the parliament and government are seriously following it up and are identifying Zionist companies," foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashgavi told reporters when asked about the sanctions and if they apply to companies such as Swiss group Nestle. Nestle has been the target of protests by the people since the Gaza onslaught began, some Iranian websites said. It is among a small number of foreign companies which have factories in Iran, which notably also includes French automaker Renault. Others, such as South Korean group Samsung, market their products in the Islamic republic. Some, particularly in the oil and gas sector, have operated in the country for some time, such as France's Total and Anglo-Dutch Shell. "A committee has been set up to examine the situation of different companies and the results will be announced when finalised," Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organisation. The Iranian industry ministry last week ordered the suspension of all trading by foreign firms "whose shares could be owned" by Israelis. Meanwhile, an Internet campaign in Saudi Arabia for a boycott of US businesses over Washington's support of the Israeli assault on Gaza gathered force Monday as a new website tied to a cleric promoted the movement. For days the calls to stop patronizing popular US brands like McDonalds, Pepsi, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Chili's have spread through viral emails and SMS messages, with no apparent sponsor or backer of the campaign.Some singled out Starbucks and cigarette maker Philip Morris for allegedly supporting Israel, and called on Saudi consumers to stop buying their products. "If you cannot donate money for Gaza, at least stop buying the products of these brands," said one email. On Sunday a new website dedicated to promoting the boycott was launched with the support of prominent cleric Sheikh Awad al-Qarni, who was recently arrested for calling for attacks on Israelis everywhere after it launched its war on Gaza. The website asked people to stay away from US brands until Israel stops its attacks and opens all border crossings for the territory. "Let our enemy see we can teach them a hard lesson," it said. Teacher Said al-Qahtani told AFP he was backing the campaign "to change US bias toward Israel and against the Arabs." A student at King Saud University who did not want to be identified said he and his friends stopped eating their lunches at the campus McDonalds. "This boycott is popular among university students," he said. Incidental evidence in Riyadh suggested that some retailers, already hit by the economic slowdown, were feeling some impact on their business from the boycott. "We have seen a downturn," one Starbucks manager told AFP, noting that the group has experienced such actions before, like when the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. Many of the US brands in the region are partly controlled by Arab companies. The franchises for Starbucks across much of the Middle East, for one, are controlled by Kuwait-based conglomerate Alshaya. Concerned about talk of a boycott, on January 5 the Starbucks headquarters in the United States issued a statement denying it was supporting Israel in the conflict. "Starbucks is a non-political organisation and does not support political causes. Further, the political preferences of a Starbucks partner at any level have absolutely no bearing on Starbucks company policies," it said.