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Products from Israeli settlements will be labelled in Norway; Report

Israel slammed Norway’s move to identify items from Israeli settlements with their country of origin on Saturday. According to an Israeli foreign ministry statement, the attitude ‘will have a negative impact on bilateral relations between Israel and Norway. In addition, Norway’s role in encouraging relations between Israel and the Palestinians.’

Norway’s long-standing position as a mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was referenced by the ministry. Norway’s social democratic government announced its revised policy on Friday, stating that labeling items from the occupied territory as Israeli was insufficient. The legislation, which would apply to items from the occupied West Bank ‘including East Jerusalem’ and occupied sections of the Golan Heights, will primarily affect imports of wine, olive oil, fruits, and vegetables.

In an interview with the Norwegian news agency NTB, Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt emphasised that this was not a boycott of Israel. ‘Norway and Israel have positive relations. That has to continue,’ she says. In 2015, the European Commission advised its member states to follow this approach, which the European Court of Justice confirmed in 2019.

Norway stated that the premise underlying its judgement, as stated in the 2019 verdict, is that customers should not be misled by false labelling on the origin of products. During the Trump administration, the US announced that items created in Israeli settlements in the occupied territories might be labelled as Israeli. Settlements in occupied lands are unlawful under international law, yet have been allowed to flourish by successive Israeli administrations since 1967.


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