EU likely to reject call to limit trade with Israeli settlements

(JTA) – The European Union will likely ignore recommendations from its own diplomats in Jerusalem to toughen its call to halt trade in products from Israeli settlements.

The Heads of Mission Committee’s recommendations were to more strictly enforce the labelling of produce grown in settlements and to expand EU guidelines on not recognizing the settlements as part of Israel, according to The Guardian.

The EU is unlikely to implement the recommendations, sources told The Guardian, because Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy chief, does not appear to be a strong advocate of further isolating the settlements, and Greece is said to be seeking better economic and diplomatic relations with Israel.

Last November, the EU adopted long-discussed guidelines to label products made by Jewish businesses in the West Bank and on the Golan Heights. The guidelines, however, were not binding on member states.

The report, which has been presented to the 27 EU governments in Brussels twice since it was written in 2015, highlights the growing resentment and “despair … anger and a loss of hope in the future” among Palestinians in Jerusalem.

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