PLO celebrates EU court ruling on Israeli 'settlement' goods

Saeb Erekat, PLO secretary general, praises European Court of Justice's ruling requiring special labelling of Israeli 'settlement' goods.

Arutz Sheva Staff, AFP ,

Saeb Erekat
Saeb Erekat
Flash 90

The secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization on Tuesday welcomed a ruling by the European Union's top court, requiring that Israeli goods produced in eastern Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Judea, and Samaria must be labelled as "settlement" products, distinguishing them goods produced elsewhere in Israel.

"We welcome the decision of the European Court of Justice and call upon all European countries to implement what is a legal and political obligation," Saeb Erekat said in a statement.

"Our demand is not only for the correct labelling reflecting the certificate of origin of products coming from illegal colonial settlements, but for the banning of those products from international markets."

Israel had not yet responded to the ruling, but has in the past firmly opposed any such labelling.

The ruling comes after France's top tribunal asked for clarification of rules on labelling goods for products from Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights.

Earlier on Tuesday, the European Court of Justice ruled that all EU member states must label products from Judea and Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

"Indication of the territory of origin of the foodstuffs in question is mandatory [...] in order to prevent consumers from being misled as to the fact that the State of Israel is present in the territories concerned as an occupying power and not as a sovereign entity," the court explained.

The court further stated that "settlements established in some of the territories occupied by the State of Israel are characterized by the fact that they give concrete expression to a policy of population transfer conducted by that State outside its territory, in violation of the rules of general international humanitarian law," such that "the omission of that indication, with the result that only the territory of origin is indicated, might mislead consumers."

"Consumers have no way of knowing, in the absence of any information capable of enlightening them in that respect, that a foodstuff comes from a locality or a set of localities constituting a settlement established in one of those territories in breach of the rules of international humanitarian law."