Ashton urges EU to label Israel settler goods

Ashton urges EU to label Israel settler goods
Tue Jul 23, 2013 21:29:55

EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton is pushing for comprehensive guidelines to introduce separate labeling for products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Ashton sent a letter to European commissioners urging them to draft the guidelines by the end of 2013, the Haaretz newspaper said.

In a separate move putting pressure on Israeli regime, the EU last week published guidelines that forbid the 28 members of the bloc from funding or dealing with Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Al-Quds which Israel occupied in the Six-Day 1967 war.

Haaretz quoted Ashton on Tuesday as saying in the letter that EU member states must ensure "the correct labeling of imported products originating beyond Israel's pre-1967 borders that are marketed as Israeli products."

"The Commission needs to ensure effective implementation of existing legislation relevant for the correct labeling of settlement products by adopting EU guidelines and other implementing acts."

Israel's foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said labeling settlement products is tantamount to "discrimination" against Israel.

Ashton's spokeswoman confirmed EU intentions to label settlement products.

"We have committed to correctly implement the EU legislation relevant for origin labeling," Maja Kocijancic told AFP.

Another European official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said EU foreign ministers supported the labelling initiative, and also stressed there was no timeline.

Settlement building in the territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 war is considered illegal under international law.


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