Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu intends to fly to South Korea at the end of July to sign a free trade agreement that will bring billions to the Israeli economy, but will not apply to communities in Judea and Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, Channel 13 News reported on Monday.
Netanyahu is interested in making a significant trip abroad before the elections with visits to Greece and a historic visit to South Korea on the itinerary, according to the report.
This economic agreement is worth many billions to the Israeli economy, both in exports and in the reduction in prices of imported products.
Senior officials with knowledge of the matter said the free trade agreement with South Korea includes a territorial clause that would exclude all areas considered by international law as "occupied."
Israel objected to the inclusion of such a clause in a free trade agreement with Seoul in the past, and as such it was never implemented. At the present time the Prime Minister agrees to it, though the agreement will include a letter expressing Israel's reservations on the agreement excluding the settlement enterprise.
The South Korean President reportedly conveyed a message through President Reuven Rivlin, who is currently visiting the country, that he wants to sign the trade agreement as soon as possible.
The Prime Minister's Office said that there will be no difference between residents of Judea and Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights and residents of regions because the arrangements for those areas “will be similar to those in free trade agreements with other countries and to those in previous agreements. This is an unprecedented agreement that will bring billions into the coffers of the state."