The European Union’s foreign ministers approved Monday night a decision to explicitly indicate in all agreements between Israel and the EU their inapplicability beyond the Green Line. In a statement accompanying the decision, the foreign ministers said the move was not a boycott of Israel and that the EU strongly objects to any boycotts of Israel.
The decision followed previous EU steps which distinguished between Israel’s 1967 borders, the settlements, and East Jerusalem. Furthermore, the statement emphasized the EU and its member states’ objection to the settlements and their ongoing construction.
In the decision, the ministers also noted their objection to incitement and called on both sides to address the issue. They asked both sides to avoid any steps that could lower the likelihood of a two-state solution and reemphasized that Europe supports intra-Palestinian reconciliation and the holding of new democratic elections in the Palestinian Authority.
Last November, the EU approved new labeling directives for settlement-made goods a technical decision taken by Brussels which was seen by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an act of unacceptable discrimination.
“The European Commission adopted this morning a document determining the status of products from territories occupied by Israel since June 1967,” said an official source at the EU.
The guidelines on the labeling of settlement-made goods will apply to fresh produce, wine, honey, olive oil, eggs, poultry, organic goods, and cosmetic products. Products excluded from the labeling include packaged food items and non-cosmetic industrial products.
The directives will affect less than one percent ofEU-Israel trade which stands at €30 billion, of which Israeli exports to EUcountries account for €13 billion.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 19, 2016
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