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Activists plan legal action to stop EU trade with Israel settlement produce

Palestinians call for a boycott of Israeli goods, and goods produced in Israeli settlements in the West Bank city of Nablus on 7 February 2013 [Nedal Eshtayah/Apaimages]
Palestinians call for a boycott of Israeli goods and goods produced in Israeli settlements in the West Bank city of Nablus on 7 February 2013 [Nedal Eshtayah/Apaimages]

Activists are fundraising for legal action to stop the European Union (EU) from trading with Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.

The organisers of the initiative, who describe themselves as “a coalition of anti-racist associations and committees within the Palestine solidarity movement in Europe”, are hoping to pressure the EU into banning trade with settlements.

The activists originally submitted an application to the European Commission “in order to make it act responsibly within its competences and move towards a ban of trade with illegal settlements”.

Earlier this year, the campaigners participated in the European Citizens Initiative (ECI), under which mechanism “a citizens’ petition that gathers 1 million signatures in at least 7 EU member states triggers action from the Commission”.

READ: Global condemnation of US decision on settlements is void of action

The Commission, however, has refused to accept participation in the ECI, “alleging that the topic at hand, EU trade with Israel’s illegal settlements, is outside its competence”.

Announcing the decision to take the Commission to the European Court of Justice to challenge their decision, the activists declared: “We disagree and refuse to be silenced.”

In order to proceed with the legal action, the campaigners are seeking to raise €10,300 ($11,347) by 15 December.

“We combine our force and determination to put pressure on the EU with a view to achieve justice and respect for fundamental rights for Palestinians and other people that are exploited through settlements,” the campaigners said.

READ: European court demands labelling of Israeli settlement goods

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