The European Union has decided that the city of Modiin-Maccabim-Reut (Modiin) is not a part of Israel. The city was built on what was no-man’s land after the 1948 War of Independence, and therefore will not be considered Israel proper, EU officials said.
The decision was made as part of an EU initiative to decide which Israeli products will benefit from tax breaks under a 1995 agreement.
Israeli and EU officials reached an understanding years ago according to which items produced in areas settled by Israel after 1967 will not enjoy tax breaks despite the 1995 deal. According to the understanding, Israeli exporters label their products with the place of production, and EU officials decide whether the location is considered “territories” or “Israel.”
Modiin is located halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and has a population of roughly 80,000. Products from the city were previously marked “Israel” along with items produced west of the 1948 armistice line.
Ancient Modiin was the home of the Maccabees, who led a revolt against Greek rule nearly 2,000 years ago. The city later became the seat of Jewish leadership in the land of Israel for over a century.
The EU also does not recognize the Golan region or eastern Jerusalem as “Israel,” despite the fact that both were annexed decades ago and their residents given Israeli residency.
Some Israeli manufacturers in Judea and Samaria (Shomron) have welcomed the distinction made between their region and those areas within Israel's 1948-1967 borders, saying "made in the settlements" labels boost sales.