August 15, 2012
EU includes central Israel city on list of settlements
The European Union has included parts of the central Israel municipality of Modi’in on its list of settlements.
Several zip codes from the city of Modiin, or Modiin-Maccabim-Reut since its merger in 2003, which is located in central Israel about halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, appear on the EU’s list of settlements that are not included in the free-trade agreement between Israel and EU member states.
Under the agreements, products originating from outside the Green Line do not qualify for the import tax exemption.
The list, which includes zip codes and names of the settlements, has for the first time been posted on the Internet.
“For anyone who deals in reality, there is not the slightest doubt that the Modi’in, Maccabim and Re’ut localities are an integral part of Israel, and their future is not in question,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “The EU ignores reality when it extends the domain of conflict to places and issues that do not belong there.”
A small part of Maccabim is built on what was considered no-man’s land between Israel and Jordan from 1948 to 1967.
The Mission of Israel in Brussels to the European Union has lodged a formal complaint about the list and the fact that it was published before negotiations between Israel and the EU on the issue had been concluded. The list had previously been an internal one for customs agents in each EU country, according to Haaretz.
There are over 80,000 residents of the city. The industrial areas of the city are not on the list. But officials are concerned that since the city’s name appears on the list, distributors will decide not to get involved with any businesses in the city.