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Israel angry as France publishes settlement goods labelling rules

File photo from the UK, where the supermarket giant, Tesco, is seen specifying Israeli settlements as a source for a pack of dates
File photo from the UK, where the supermarket giant, Tesco, is seen specifying Israeli settlements as a source for a pack of dates

The French government has published new regulations obliging importers and retailers to label products originating from Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.

According to the report in Haaretz, the notification, published yesterday, is headed “Notice to economic operators concerning the indication of origin of goods originating in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967.”

Citing the November 2015 European Commission guidelines, and “in order not to deceive consumers”, the new government regulations “say it is necessary to mark the precise place from which goods originating in these areas came, and not mark them as products of Israel.”

Haaretz says that “the regulations make it clear that this is intended to prevent a situation in which consumers are misled and think they are buying Palestinian goods from the West Bank or East Jerusalem.”

In response, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon said: “Israel denounces the French government’s decision to implement the November 2015 European Commission’s guidelines for marking Israeli goods originating from beyond the ‘67 borders.”

“We regret that France, in which there’s a law against boycotts, is advancing steps that could be seen as giving a tailwind to radicals and the boycott movement against Israel.”

He added: “It is inexplicable and troubling that France chooses to apply a double standard when it comes to Israel, while ignoring 200 territorial conflicts taking place around the world, including those on its very own doorstep.”

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