UK envoy signs ‘darkest’ report on settlements

February 28, 2013

The British envoy to East Jerusalem, Sir Vincent Fean, has joined 27 European Union heads of mission in signing a damning report on Israeli settlement activities.

A British official told the Telegraph this week that this was “the darkest” report that the EU has ever produced on the conflict.

The document recommended that the EU limit trade with settlements and block investment in areas beyond the Green Line.

It said that the EU should “prevent, discourage and raise awareness about problematic implications of financial transactions, including foreign direct investments, from within the EU in support of settlement activities, infrastructure and services.”

Recommendations included ensuring that existing legislation on the labelling of settlement-made products was enforced, to allow consumers to make “an informed choice”.

The report also urged Brussels to enforce the EU-Israel free trade agreement, which requires that goods from the settlements do not receive preferential treatment over goods from within the Green Line.

The report was compiled in January following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcements late last year that Israel would embark on several new settlement-construction projects in sensitive areas of the West Bank.

Last updated: 1:45pm, February 28 2013