Thursday, November 26, 2020

EU announces guidelines for labelling Israeli settlement products

By Cath And - November 13, 2015
Section: [Main News]

The European Commission announced new guidelines Wednesday on labelling products sold in the EU which are manufactured on illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian and Syrian land.

The guidelines state that the EU “does not recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967.”

All products produced in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights will require labelling “which does not mislead about the geographical origin.”

Palestinian products will be labelled “product from the West Bank (Palestinian product)”, “product from Gaza” or “product from Palestine.”

For products produced on Israeli settlements, the labels will read  “product from the Golan Heights (Israeli settlement)” or “product from the West Bank (Israeli settlement).”

A press statement released by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) on Wednesday welcomed the move by the EU, but affirmed that more needs to be done to make Israel accountable for its violations of international law.

Mahmoud Nawajaa, general coordinator with the BNC, stated that “putting some labels on a small number of Israeli products is hardly a proportionate response to repeated Israeli war crimes.”

Nawajaa continued, “the EU and its member states must meet its legal obligation not to provide aid or assistance to Israeli violations of international law, starting by banning all trade with companies that operate in illegal Israeli settlements, ending EU subsidies to Israeli military companies and stopping the arms trade with Israel.”

According to the Jerusalem Post, U.S. State Department spokesperson Edgar Vasquez, stated that the EU’s labelling of products is not the equivalent to a boycott of Israel, as the U.S. “does not consider settlements to be part of Israel.”

The international community has repeatedly condemned Israel’s construction of illegal settlements, which has increased at a rate of 40 per cent since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reelection in 2015, according to Ma’an News Agency.

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