The European Commission has adopted new consumer guidelines for the labeling of products from Israeli-occupied territories.
Under the new guidelines, Israeli producers must label farm goods and cosmetics that come from illegal settlements in the occupied lands
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Israel has called the move discriminatory, while Brussels say it was technical
The European Commission “adopted this morning the Interpretative Notice on indication of origin of goods from the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967,” Reuters quoted an EU official as saying.
The European Commission has adopted an interpretative notice on indication of origin of goods from territories occupied by Israel since 1967
— EU in Israel (@EUinIsrael) November 11, 2015
EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen was called to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem to be reprimanded over the decision, Haaretz reports.
“Whereas the upcoming labeling guidelines are presented by the EU as a purely ‘technical measure’ designed to protect European consumers, there is no doubt that the main purpose of the measure is to exert political pressure upon Israel,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said prior the EU decision.
“These measures are discriminatory in nature. It is intolerable that Israel is the only country that has been singled out by the EU for such a policy, despite the fact that there are over 200 disputed territories worldwide,” the statement added.
— acc suspended (@indicahybrid2) November 11, 2015
This move shouldn’t come as a surprise to Israel, US State Department Deputy spokesman Mark Toner said on Tuesday before the ruling was published.
“Israel continues to expand settlement activity. It should not come as a surprise that some in the international community seek to limit commercial ties to the settlements. This underscores the urgent need for Israel to change its policies with regard to settlements,” he said, quoted by the Jerusalem Post.
He avoided a direct question on whether the US approves the labeling of settlement products, saying the question is still being discussed with no guidelines published yet.