EU: Labeling of settlement products begins within 10 days

PNN/ Bethlehem/

A senior European Union official on Monday told the Israeli Army Radio that labeling of products manufactured in illegal West Bank Israeli settlements will begin effective October 1.

According to the official, the EU was set to finalize by mid-October remaining legal and technical issues regarding the settlement labeling, such as how exactly to mark the products and how to execute the process, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The official added that Brussels will consider further punitive measures if the Israeli government announces plans for more construction beyond the Green Line in east Jerusalem and the West Bank.

“If this is the case, we will continue with moves against settlement expansion, and the marking of products will just be the beginning,” he told the radio station.

While the European official noted that the EU lauded factories that have left the West Bank, he acknowledged that the departures of such enterprises results in the loss of jobs for Palestinian workers.

However, he said that the employment implications for residents of Jewish settlements would create less incentive to live in those areas.

According to diplomatic officials in Jerusalem, Israel adamantly opposes plans to label goods produced beyond the Green Line.

Israeli occupation authorities have charged that labeling products from the settlements discriminated unfairly against Israel, since the EU does not have a similar policy toward other disputed areas around the world, including northern Cyprus or the western Sahara.