Friday

22nd Sep 2017

Israel unhappy after EU blacklists 1980s town

Israel has complained about the EU's inclusion of parts of the town of Modi'in-Maccabim-Reut on a blacklist of "settlements."

The European Commission on 3 August added three postal codes in the town to a register of over 500 codes relating to "Israeli settlements located within the territories brought under Israeli administration since June 1967."

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Modi'in-Maccabim-Reut - Israeli "reality" versus UN law (Photo: ChristianBier)

The designation refers to Palestinian land annexed after the so-called Six-Day War in a move considered by EU countries to violate binding UN resolutions.

Products originating from annexed land cannot benefit from preferential tariffs agreed under a 12-year-old EU-Israel trade deal.

The commission for the first time also published the list online, saying "the way [the rules] are imple­mented in the EU should be streamlined in the light of experience."

The list was previously available to EU customs authorities who are supposed to use it to cross-check importers' certificates of origin. But NGOs, such as Human Rights Watch and the Council for European Palestinian Relations, say the system does not work.

Modi'in-Maccabim-Reut is a town of around 80,000 people dating back to the 1980s.

It is in a strip of land between 1km and 3kms wide which was originally designated as a buffer zone between Israeli-controlled territory and Palestinian territory after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

The Israeli foreign ministry in a statement published on its website on Tuesday (14 August) said the EU broke off talks on the blacklist "ex abrupto" and that it has lodged "an official protest" in Brussels.

It added: "For anyone who deals in reality, there is not the slightest doubt that the Modi'in, Maccabim and Re'ut localities are an integral part of Israel and their future is not in question."

It also said that naming the town on a public EU document risks creating a new political flashpoint: "It extends the domain of conflict to places and issues that do not belong there."

For its part, the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper quoted two trade lawyers, Gill Nadal and Omer Wagner, who said the move "constitutes a deviation and breach of contract" of the EU trade agreement.

The right-leaning Ynetnews cited Israel's minister of diaspora affairs, Yuli Edelstein, as saying the EU is "trying to gnaw away at Israel's sovereignty."

The publication of the EU list has also raised fears EU consumers will use it to privately boycott goods.

The development comes after EU foreign ministers in May said they will "fully and effectively implement existing EU legislation and the bilateral arrangements applicable to settlement products."

It also comes after the Union last month upgraded trade and diplomatic relations with Israel.

The upgrade had been put on hold for almost three years after Israel's attack on Gaza in 2009, which killed around 1,400 Palestinians, over 300 of whom were children.

EU to boost Israel trade relations despite settlements row

The EU is today to confirm moves to strengthen economic ties with Israel, facing off criticism that trade conditions should be frozen due to the diplomatic impasse over Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.

EU takes aim at Israeli settler products

EU foreign ministers have "warned" Israel they will take a tougher approach to exports originating from illegal settlements on Palestinian land.

Opinion

Why EU should reject new Israeli trade pact

By rejecting the so-called ACAA agreement, MEPs could begin to play a mature and constructive role in EU foreign policy in the Arab Spring region.

Opinion

EU decision adds Middle East confusion not clarity

The EU's recent decision to include parts of Modi’in Maccabim-Re’ut on a trading blacklist was taken without real understanding of the region and may extend the boundaries of the Middle East conflict, writes the city's mayor, Haim Bibas

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUGermany Stands Ready to Deepen Cooperation With China
  2. World VisionFirst Ever Young People Consultation to Discuss the Much Needed Peace in Europe
  3. European Jewish CongressGermany First Country to Adopt Working Definition of Antisemitism
  4. EU2017EEFour Tax Initiatives to Modernise the EU's Tax System
  5. Dialogue PlatformResponsibility in Practice: Gulen & Islamic Thought
  6. Counter BalanceHuman Rights Concerns Over EIB Loan to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project
  7. Mission of China to the EUChina Leads the Global Clean Energy Transition
  8. CES - Silicones EuropeFrom Baking Moulds to Oven Mitts, Silicones Are a Key Ingredient in Kitchens
  9. Martens CentreFor a New Europeanism: How to Put the Motto "Unity in Diversity" Into Practice
  10. Access MBAGet Ahead With an MBA Degree. Top MBA Event in Brussels
  11. Idealist QuarterlyIdealist Quarterly Event: Building Fearless Democracies With Gerald Hensel
  12. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi Urges Bigger Global Role for Emerging Economies