In the government’s hasty efforts to prepare a response to the new European Union ban on cooperation with Israeli businesses over the Green Line, one of the country’s biggest companies was erroneously listed as a potential target, Haaretz reported.
Teva Pharmaceuticals appeared on a list released after a meeting convened by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last Thursday to discuss Israel’s response to the EU rules, which were published last month and go into effect at the start of next year. According to the government document, Teva would lose out on EU benefits because two of its plants are in the Har Hotzvim industrial zone, in north Yerushalayim.
Since in recent years Teva has received approximately 200 million euros in EU loans, the ban could have been damaging.
However, a careful examination of the maps reveals that both of the Teva facilities in question are situated within the pre-1967 lines, as is the entire industrial zone. The Green Line runs just to the north of it.
“It would have been appropriate to check these matters with the authorized agencies in Israel with regard to its borders, unless for political motives there was hidden intent here to be misleading,” said army Maj. Gen. (res.) Shaul Arieli, an expert on the borders in the area.
Israeli diplomats admitted they were caught off guard by the new EU guidelines a few weeks ago, and the government has been scrambling to formulate a policy for negotiation to minimize the damage.