EU may Impose Sanctions on Israeli Goods Made in Occupied Territories
The European Union (EU) may impose next month restrictions on Israeli exports manufactured in territories Israel occupied in 1967, an Israeli government official was quoted as saying by Haaretz newspaper Monday.
The impose will remain until Israel and the EU reach agreement on the status of goods from these areas, Victor Harel, foreign ministry deputy director general in charge of economics, said.
"The measures may include special customs or mandatory bonds."
Israel, said the paper, is demanding that such exports be treated the same as all other Israeli products, eligible for the customs rates stipulated in the international trade agreements that Israel has entered.
But the EU commission announced it will not accept the "made-in-Israel" label for any goods produced in territories that were not under Israeli control before 1967. The territories include the West Bank, Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and east Jerusalem.
Last year, EU customs authorities asked Israel several times for details on various products fabricated in these territories.
Israel was given 10 months to answer such questions as: "Are these grapes from the Jordan Valley?" or "Where do Soda Club's products come from?" This period to reply expires this March, the official said.
Israel and the EU signed a trade agreement in 1995, called Treaty of Association.
It calls for greater liberalization of agricultural trade.
The agreement defines Israel as that of pre-1967, but "Israel's practices violate an agreement with Israel granting preferential access to the EU, since these territories do not form part of the State of Israel under public international law," according to an EU online publication on Israeli agricultural exports in 1999.
"All relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions lead to the conclusion that neither Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, nor east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, can be considered as part of the State of Israel," the publication added -- Albawaba.com
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