NGOs urge EU ban on West Bank settlement products

By Anna Sheinman, October 30, 2012
The front cover of the report, with the 22 endorsements

The front cover of the report, with the 22 endorsements

Twenty-two organisations, including Christian Aid, The Methodist Church of England and the Church of Sweden, have released a report recommending that the EU stops importing goods made in Israeli settlements.

The report, “Trading away peace: How Europe helps sustain illegal Israeli settlements”, calls on the EU to impose laws requiring clearer labelling of products made in West Bank settlements.

The report said that currently, West Bank settlement products can be imported as “made in Israel” and this is “denying consumers their right, under existing EU consumer protection legislation, to make informed decisions when they shop.”

The report states that the EU imports 15 times more from West Bank settlements than from the Palestinians, and that European policy is therefore sustaining illegal settlements.

It says that labelling stating exact provenance should be part of EU law, and that if the EU does not act, West Bank settlement products should be banned.

Products made in the settlements and sold in the EU are estimated to be worth £230m a year and vary from citrus fruits and dates to carbonation devices made by SodaStream, as well as plastics, textiles and toys.

Last updated: 4:06pm, October 30 2012