The European Union on Wednesday adopted measures to label products from Israeli settlements, considered illegal under international law, in a move welcomed by the Palestinian leadership.
The EU Commission, the executive branch of the EU, said the body had adopted an interpretative notice on the “indication of origin of goods from the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967.”
The notice is based on pre-existing EU legislation and will ensure that when the indication of origin on products is mandatory, settlement goods cannot be labeled “Made in Israel.”
“Since the Golan Heights and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are not part of the Israeli territory according to international law, the indication ‘product from Israel’ is considered to be incorrect and misleading in the sense of the referenced legislation,” the EU said.
Products made in Israeli settlements in the West Bank or Golan Heights must include the term “Israeli settlement,” the notice added, and could either be labeled “product from the Golan Heights (Israeli settlement)” or “product from the West Bank (Israeli settlement).”
Palestinian products could be labeled “product from the West Bank (Palestinian product),” “product from Gaza,” or “product from Palestine.”
The labeling will be mandatory for fresh fruit and vegetables, wine, honey, olive oil, eggs, poultry, organic products and cosmetics, and voluntary for industrial products and pre-packaged foodstuffs.
However, the EU added that the regulations were not aimed at a boycott of Israeli exports from the settlements, which it said it does not support in “any form.”
It said instead that “the indication of origin will give consumers the possibility to make an informed choice.”
The PLO Secretary-General, Saeb Erekat, welcomed the move, calling it a “significant move toward a total boycott of Israeli settlements, which are built illegally on occupied Palestinian lands.”
– Read more: EU Approves Labeling of Israeli Settlement Products – Ma’an