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US 'deeply concerned' over Europe court ruling on Israel settlement produce

A picture taken from the Israeli settlement of Gilo in Jerusalem on 17 April 2019 [THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty]
A picture taken from the Israeli settlement of Gilo in Jerusalem on 17 April 2019 [THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty]

The United States declared itself "deeply concerned" by a European court ruling this week obliging European states to clearly label produce originating from Israeli settlements in occupied territory.

In a statement published yesterday, the US State Department slammed the decision, echoing the criticism already levelled by the Israeli government.

"The United States is deeply concerned by the EU requirement identified in the decision issued yesterday by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Psagot Case," the statement read.

"The circumstances surrounding the labelling requirement in the specific facts presented to the Court are suggestive of anti-Israel bias," the State Department continued.

In a case brought by Psagot, a settlement-based winery, the court ruled that produce made in settlements in the occupied West Bank should be identified as such, as opposed to "Made in Israel".

READ: New research shows Israel settlements benefit from bilateral relations with EU

In response, Israel said it "strongly rejects" the decision, which it claimed "serves as a tool in the political campaign against Israel", adding that "the ruling's entire objective is to single out and apply a double standard against Israel".

The Trump administration's response echoed these talking points, claiming that labelling settlement produce "serves only to encourage, facilitate, and promote boycotts, divestments, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel".

"The United States unequivocally opposes any effort to engage in BDS, or to otherwise economically pressure, isolate, or otherwise delegitimise Israel," the State Department added.

"The path toward resolving the Israel-Palestinian conflict is through direct negotiations.  America stands with Israel against efforts to economically pressure, isolate, or delegitimise it."

Buying products from illegal Israeli settlements [Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Buying products from illegal Israeli settlements – [Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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