EU defends decision to label products made in Israeli settlements

Published January 19th, 2016 - 10:30 GMT

The European Union has reaffirmed support for its decision to label products made in settlements illegally built by the Israeli regime on the occupied Palestinian territories.

In a Monday statement, EU foreign ministers rejected Israeli claims that the bans were discriminatory and said the 28-nation bloc maintains its opposition to Tel Aviv's expansionist policies.

Under the punitive measures that the bloc has been enforcing since November, notifications are attached to the products, informing that they had been made in settlements built by Tel Aviv on the land it occupied in 1967.

“The EU and its member States are committed to ensuring continued, full, and effective implementation of existing EU legislation and bilateral arrangements applicable to settlements products,” read the statement.

However, Tel Aviv maintains a defiant stance on the issue of illegal settlements on Palestinian land as it refuses to freeze settlement expansion.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), however, welcomed the statement.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Back in 2013, the bloc asked Israeli authorities to guarantee that EU funding is not channeled into settlements and that its cooperation projects with Tel Aviv do not take place on the occupied territories.

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