The European Union on Thursday banned the import of poultry and eggs from Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and from most of Jerusalem, the Walla news site reported on Thursday. The 28-nation bloc informed the Israeli Agriculture Ministry that it recognized the Ministry's authority to supervise agricultural products only within the 1948 armistice lines. As a result, produce from Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria did not meet public health regulations for import, the website said.
An EU official in Tel Aviv confirmed the report and said the ruling was issued "in the spirit" of guidelines which came into force in January “prohibiting dealings with settlement-based firms and bodies. This issue, like many other trade issues that come up in the framework of trade relations between Israel and the European Union, will be addressed within the framework of the ongoing professional dialogue between the parties," Walla quoted an agriculture ministry spokesperson as saying.
The ministry declined to comment when contacted by news agencies.
"It should be noted that poultry and poultry-related products” Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and from Jerusalem, “account for under five percent of all such products in Israel, so that the new European guideline will not have much practical impact from an economic standpoint," Walla reported.