THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- A group of 22 European non-governmental organizations signed a petition calling on governments to consider banning goods from West Bank settlements.
The report, called "Trading Away Peace: How Europe Helps Sustain Illegal Israeli settlements" published Tuesday, was written by Hans van den Broek, former Dutch foreign minister and EU foreign policy chief, and was addressed to European governments and the European Union.
The EU's position clearly states Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories are "illegal under international law and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible," the report said. Despite this, the EU's policy helps sustain settlements and imports 15 times more products from settlements than from Palestinian territories, the report says.
In the report, Broek advises European governments to address the issue by adopting 12 steps, including re-labeling goods from settlements and perhaps banning them all together, asking governments to formally advise businesses to refrain from all commercial and investment links with settlements, and exclude settlements from bilateral agreements. The report also recommends issuing guidelines to European tour operators "to prevent support for settlement businesses" and ban all imports of settlement products as called for by Ireland, the report says.
NGO's from countries such as Britain, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and France helped produce the report.