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Israel calls EU labeling guidelines 'discriminatory'

Exports from the West Bank and other Palestinian-occupied areas can lo longer be claimed to be made in Israel.

By Ed Adamczyk
Israel calls EU labeling guidelines 'discriminatory'
A Palestinian woman leaves a shop selling Israeli products in the Old City in Bethlehem, West Bank. Products made in the West Bank, the Golan Heights and east Jerusalem and sold in European Union countries can no longer be identified as made in Israel. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

JERUSALEM, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Israel, on Wednesday, criticized European Commission guidelines on new labeling products made in the West Bank.

The EC adopted a "notice on indication of origin of goods," saying products made or grown in territories occupied by Israel east of the "green line" separating Israel from the West Bank, the Golan Heights and east Jerusalem, can no longer be regarded as made in Israel.

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While the EC has, since the matter was first considered in 2012, referred to the detail as merely a technical matter, Israel regards it as an impediment to Israeli-European relations.

"Labeling products will not advance peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians," the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "On the contrary, it may only bolster the Palestinian authority's refusal to hold direct negotiations with Israel, negotiations which the EU says it supports."

Israel referred to the notice as a "discriminatory step" for "political motives."

The guidelines spell out instructions regarding the labeling of products so European consumers can be informed they are not made in Israel, but instead, Golan Heights, for example.

Such products would not be covered by a free trade agreement between Israel and the EU.

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