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Israel and Belgium clash over labeling of payment products | WGN Radio 720

An overview of the Psagot Winery in Psagot, a Jewish settlement on the west bank of the Jordan River, on Tuesday, January 26, 2021. The Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister canceled the meeting with the Belgian authorities on Wednesday, November 24, after Brussels decided to start labeling earlier this week. A product made in a Jewish west bank settlement. Idan Roll said on Twitter that he had abandoned talks with the Belgian Foreign Ministry and Parliament during this week’s visit to European countries. (AP Photo / Maya Alleruzzo)

Israel’s Tel Aviv (AP) —Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister canceled talks with Belgian officials on Wednesday after Brussels decided to begin labeling products made in Jewish west coast settlements earlier this week. ..

Idan Roll said on Twitter that he had abandoned talks with the Belgian Foreign Ministry and Parliament during this week’s visit to European countries.

“The Belgian government’s decision to label products in the Judea and Samaria district has not helped strengthen extremists and promote peace in the region, indicating that Belgium has not contributed to the stability of the region. “He said in a tweet.

The Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Wednesday that the country wants labeled settlement products and plans to strengthen control of goods coming from Israeli settlements.

“On the other hand, it distinguishes between Israeli and Palestinian territories,” he said in a statement that Belgium continues to apply international and European law.

“We expect these products to be labeled correctly by the exporter,” he said. “We have found it very difficult to determine the exact source of our products.” He said there was no ban on payment products.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs described this decision as a blow to the country’s new government. This is a broad coalition of Kuomintang and dovish parties that have sought to project a more friendly image than the previous administration under the hard-line former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The decision to label products focuses on harming Israeli and Palestinians, improving the lives of Palestinians, strengthening the Palestinian Authority, and improving Israeli relations with other European countries. It is not in step with the Israeli government’s policy of hitting it, “said the ministry.

The Supreme Court of the European Union ruled in 2019 that EU countries need to label products manufactured in Israeli settlements. The European Court of Justice must provide a “label of its source” on the label so that consumers can make “informed choices” when shopping if the product is from an Israeli settlement. Said there is.

The European Commission said it is up to individual EU member states to verify that the label is correct, but the source of settled produce must be informed in a “consumer-free” manner.

Israel states that the labeling is unfair and discriminatory, and that other countries involved in land disputes are not sanctioned as well.

The Belgian move follows a similar move by France in 2016, urging companies to use labels to identify goods produced in Israeli settlements in non-binding decisions. .. Israel condemned France’s decision at the time, and a winery in a village on the west bank brought the matter to court, leading to the ECJ’s decision in 2019.

Israel occupied the West Bank along with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip during the 1967 Middle East War. Palestinians want all three areas for the nation of the future. Currently, about 700,000 Jewish settlers live on the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

Most international communities consider settlements to be illegal and an obstacle to the creation of a Palestinian state. For decades, successive Israeli governments, including those governed by political parties supporting the Palestinian state, have deprived Palestinians of the land they want for an independent state and have continued to expand their settlements on the West Bank.

Israel sees the West Bank as a strategic territory of historical importance to the Jews.

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Associated Press correspondent Lorne Cook contributed to the report from Brussels.

Israel and Belgium clash over labeling of payment products | WGN Radio 720

Source link Israel and Belgium clash over labeling of payment products | WGN Radio 720

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