Thursday, 2 Dec 2021 - 28 of Kislev, 5782

Israel condemns Belgian governement’s decision to label products from Judea and Samaria

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“The decision to label products harms both Israelis and Palestinians and goes against the Israeli government’s policy focused on improving the lives of Palestinians and strengthening the Palestinian Authority and with improving Israel’s relations with other European countries,” the Israeli foreign ministry said in a statement.

 

“The Belgian government’s decision supports extremism, undermines efforts to promote peace in the region, and does not contribute to stability in the Middle East,” stated Idan Roll, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister  following a decision by the Belgian government to label Israeli products made in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

The government also ruled that any future agreement between Belgium and Israel will include a special clause stating the deal is not valid in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Israeli media reported that Roll, who is currently in Brussels, decided to cancel all his scheduled meetings with the Belgian foreign ministry and with members of the parliament.

In Jerusalem, the foreign ministry strongly condemned the Belgian decision. “The decision to label products harms both Israelis and Palestinians and goes against the Israeli government’s policy focused on improving the lives of Palestinians and strengthening the Palestinian Authority and with improving Israel’s relations with other European countries,” it said in a statement.

The Belgian government decision is part of an agreement in the coalition of left and center-right political parties.

Left-wing parties, the Socialists and the Greens, have pushed for a government policy of “differentiations’’ mandating the labeling of goods produced in Israeli settlements.

Since May, meetings have been held between the cabinets of the Ministers of Economy, Finance and Foreign to strengthen the ‘’differentiation policy’’ between products made in Israel and products from Judea and Samaria, daily Le Soir said.

In 2015, the European Commission instructed all EU member states to begin labeling products from Israeli settlements, but very few countries implemented the ruling at the time.

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