EU sets guidelines on labelling Israeli settlement goods
The European Commission has issued new guidelines for the labelling of some products made in Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian and Syrian land.
Agricultural produce and cosmetics sold in EU member states must now have clear labels showing their place of origin.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said the EU “should be ashamed of itself”.
The EU considers settlements built on territories occupied by Israel in 1967 to be illegal under international law, but Israel disputes this position.
The EU says settlements constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible.
Mr Netanyahu, who was in Washington on an official visit, called the decision “hypocritical and a double standard”.
The Israeli foreign ministry has summoned the EU ambassador to Israel and said it would suspend diplomatic dialogue in the coming weeks.
At a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday, the European Commission adopted an “interpretative notice on indication of origin of goods from the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967”.
The Commission says the territories comprise the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights, which were captured from Syria.
What exports are subject to the new rules?
Mandatory indication of origin applies notably to fresh fruit and vegetables, wine, honey, olive oil, eggs, poultry, organic products and cosmetics. Voluntary indication of origin applies to pre-packaged foodstuffs and the majority of industrial products.