The Socialists & Democrats Group (S&D Group) in the European
Parliament objected earlier this week to an upgrade to Israel's trade
agreement with the European Union, claiming it could give preferential
trade status to products from settlements.
The S&D Group, the
second largest political bloc in the EU, proposed delaying a decision
on the agreement for two years, saying it hoped Israel would change its
policy towards Gaza, the settlements and the peace process. Upgrading
the agreement, a statement explained, would be inconsistent with EU
foreign policy that condemns settlements in the West Bank.
The group said it intends to request that the European Commission
clearly state that Israeli products produced in Palestinian territories
cannot be "lawfully traded" and therefore cannot be a part of the
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