x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Israel upset at European stance on settlements

Israel's foreign ministry has condemned a decision by the EU to effectively label parts of an Israeli town as a settlement in a new list of places not entitled to European tariff exemptions.

JERUSALEM // Israel's foreign ministry yesterday condemned a decision by the EU to effectively label parts of an Israeli town as a settlement in a new list of places not entitled to European tariff exemptions.

"For anyone who deals in reality, there is not the slightest doubt that the Modiin, Maccabim and Reut localities are an integral part of Israel, and their future is not in question," the ministry said.

In a list published this week, the European Union designated parts of the city known as Modiin-Maccabim-Reut, which lies halfway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, as outside Israel for the purposes of a tariff exemption programme.

The three postcodes included in the list fall in an area that is beyond the 1949 armistice line known as the Green Line, inside a narrow ribbon designated as no-man's land.

The EU specifically prohibits members from applying a tariff exemption granted to Israel to products made by Israel inside the "territories brought under Israeli administration since June 1967", including the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights.

The foreign ministry said the EU "ignores reality when it extends the domain of conflict to places and issues that do not belong there".