EU to Require Labels on Goods From Israel’s Settlements

The European Union is moving ahead with plans to require labels on goods produced in Israeli settlements, to protest Israel’s control over Palestinian territories.

Settlement products already face higher EU tariffs because the 28-nation bloc doesn’t recognize Israel’s jurisdiction over territories beyond its 1967 borders, and excludes them from an EU-Israel trade pact.

Labeling would raise consumer awareness and send a political signal, branding settlement goods -- mainly fruit, vegetables, meat and fish -- as the product of an illegal occupation.

“Work is currently in progress” to enact labeling rules as required under existing EU legislation, EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told reporters in Brussels on Friday. She didn’t say when the rules will take effect.

EU governments committed to labeling in 2012, then set the plans aside during U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s abortive Middle East peace initiative and delayed them again in the run-up to last month’s Israeli election.

Sixteen EU foreign ministers put the issue back on the agenda this week, in a letter to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. The letter, published by Haaretz newspaper, said labels will save consumers from “being misled by false information.”

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