The European Union is considering instituting a ban on imports of products made in Israeli settlements, a Greek Foreign Ministry official was quoted as saying to a group of Israeli and Palestinian journalists in Athens on Friday.
According to multiple Israeli media reports, the Greek diplomat, speaking to reporters during a Geneva Initiative seminar in the Greek capital, said that EU nations were currently holding discussions on the issue. Among moves being considered were a total import ban on settlement goods or the implementation of special labels for goods made in communities beyond the Green Line, such as South Africa adopted last month.
Channel 10 quoted the official as saying the EU Executive Commission would likely make a decision on the issue next month.
Last month, the South African government approved "requiring the labeling of goods or products emanating from IOTs (Israel Occupied Territories) to prevent consumers being led to believe that such goods come from Israel. This is in line with South Africa’s stance that recognizes the 1948 borders delineated by the United Nations and does not recognize occupied territories beyond these borders as being part of the State of Israel.”
The Foreign Ministry issued a harsh statement following South Africa's decison, saying that the measure adopted was unprecedented and constituted “blatant discrimination based on national and political distinction. This kind of discrimination has not been imposed – and rightly so – in any other case of national, territorial or ethnic conflict. Israel and South Africa have political differences, and that is legitimate. What is totally unacceptable is the use of tools which, by essence, discriminate and single out, fostering a general boycott.”
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.