Israel condemns new EU labelling rules for products

12 November 2015 (Last Updated November 12th, 2015 18:30)

Israel has termed the new European Union regulations for labelling of products from areas in Palestine to be 'an exceptional and discriminatory step'.

Israel has termed the new European Union regulations for labelling of products from areas in Palestine to be 'an exceptional and discriminatory step'.

The EU labelling regulations have been imposed on products sourced from areas in Palestine that have been under Israeli control since 1967.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: "Israel regrets that the EU has chosen, for political reasons, to take such an exceptional and discriminatory step, inspired by the boycott movement, at a time when Israel is confronting a wave of terrorism targeting any and all of its citizens."

"Israel regrets that the EU has chosen, for political reasons, to take such an exceptional and discriminatory step."

The rules require Israeli producers to label their farm goods and other products originating from Israeli settlements if those are to be sold in EU nations.

Products imported from these regions are to be labelled as coming from settlements instead of being labelled as 'Made in Israel'.

EU regulations are applicable for fresh fruit and vegetables, wine, honey, olive oil, eggs, poultry, organic products and cosmetics.

Territorial disputes have been continuing between Israel and Palestine for a long time.

Israel opines that the step will reinforce the Palestinian Authority's refusal to conduct direct negotiations with Israel, affecting the political spat between the two parties.

Products marked as 'Made in Israel' products are subject to little or no tariffs in the European markets.

A spokesman from the European Commission was cited by The New York Times as saying that those derived from the Israeli settlements are not to be allowed such benefits. Similar labelling rules have already been implemented across European countries such as the UK, Belgium and Denmark.

The step is expected to help in differentiation of products coming from Israel proper and the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank.

All 28 states in the union are required to follow the labelling rules as specified by the authority.