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Netanyahu decries EU ‘shame’ over settlement labelling

By AFP   |   11 November 2015   |   5:00 pm  

Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the European Union’s decision on Wednesday to label goods from Israeli settlements, accusing the bloc of double standards and saying it “should be ashamed”.

“The EU decision is hypocritical, based on a double-standard policy since it only concerns Israel and not the 200 other conflicts around the world,” Netanyahu said in a statement as he wrapped up a visit to Washington.

“The European Union should be ashamed.”

The EU move is a set of guidelines for labelling products from Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories and annexed east Jerusalem as well as the Golan Heights, all occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The settlements are deemed illegal under international law and are considered a major stumbling block to peace efforts since those in the West Bank and east Jerusalem are built on land Palestinians see as part of their future state.

Israel’s foreign ministry had earlier summoned the UN envoy to the country over the decision and called the step “discriminatory”.

On Tuesday, in anticipation of the move, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz called the labelling measure “disguised anti-Semitism”.

Trade from settlements accounts for only a small portion of commerce between the European Union and Israel, but carries important symbolic weight.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation said the EU decision was a positive step but that it did not go far enough, calling for a ban on such commerce.



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