EU to Israel: Label Green Line Produce Or Face Import Ban

YERUSHALAYIM -

The European Union has reiterated its ultimatum that if Israel does not come forth with a satisfactory labeling system for produce that originates in areas beyond the 1967 Green Line, it will impose a ban on imports of all Israeli meat, poultry, and dairy products, according to Israeli media reports.

Israeli officials have only “a matter of weeks” left to persuade the EU that such a ban will be unnecessary.

EU officials maintain that this “in no way amounts to an economic boycott of Israel,” but merely an implementation of a December 2012 resolution which made any future economic agreements with Israel contingent upon such labeling.

On July 28, the EU sent a letter to the Agriculture Ministry reminding it that from February 2013 onward, it could no longer supply permits for the export of poultry which originates beyond the Green Line since Brussels doesn’t recognize Israeli communities there.

The deadline for the implementation of such a mechanism was September 1, but EU officials have agreed to extend the deadline. “This is a process that takes time,” an EU source was quoted as saying.

In response to the report, a Foreign Ministry official said: “The issue is currently being discussed between the relevant authorities in Israel and the European Union.”