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EU’s Ashton to draft labeling guidelines for settlement products

JTA

July 23, 2013 | 10:42 am

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will draft guidelines by the end of the year requiring all products from Israeli settlements to be labeled accordingly.

In a letter sent earlier this month and revealed this week by Haaretz, Ashton asked several EU commissioners to support the move on the products from the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

Ashton claims that a majority of the EU’s 28 member states support labeling settlement products, and that the policy relates closely to the EU’s view that all Israeli West Bank and Golan Heights settlements are illegal under international law.

Three countries — the United Kingdom, Holland and Denmark — already label settlement products.

The guidelines would be nonbinding, but most EU states are expected to adopt them.

“An overwhelming majority of Member States have recently supported or openly demanded the preparation of EU-wide guidelines on this issue in order to implement EU law in a coherent manner,” Ashton wrote, according to Haaretz.

The letter comes as the European Union has passed new regulations prohibiting the awarding of grants to companies with activity in the Israeli settlements. The regulations also require that any agreement between the EU and Israel state that the West Bank and Golan Heights are not included in Israel.

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