EU asked to recognise Palestine and boycott illegal Israeli products

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah yesterday (4 April) called upon the entire European Union to recognise the State of Palestine and to boycott Israeli products “produced in illegal Israeli settlements”.

In the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, Hamdallah met with Christian Berger, the European External Action Service’s Middle East director and called upon the 28 member states to recognise Palestine and establish full diplomatic relations with it.

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Hamdallah also urged the bloc to back a proposal to hold an international conference with the aim of establishing peace in the region.

“Such a conference would breathe new life into the stalled peace process, and ensure the implementation of UN resolutions,” said the prime minister, who has held office since June 2013. He insisted that the ultimate aim of the conference would be the creation of an independent state of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Palestinian and Israeli delegates have stayed away from the negotiating table since April 2014, when the United States’ Secretary of State, John Kerry, failed in his attempt to reinvigorate the peace process.

In January, France also added its voice to the calls to hold international talks on recognising Palestine, although it has stopped short of doing so itself; however, it has warned Israel that it intends to recognise the State if no solution is found soon.

Hamdallah also used the meeting at the opportunity to praise the EU for its decision to issue labelling guidelines for products manufactured in illegal Israeli settlements.

EU defends decision to label goods made in Israeli settlements

The European Union reinforced on Monday (18 January) its position that products made in Israeli settlements must be clearly labelled in Europe, despite growing tensions with Israel over the issue, but stressed that the bloc opposes any boycott of the Jewish state.

“Labelling of settlement goods is a step in the right direction. However, we urge the countries of the European Union to stop the import of products from illegal Israeli settlements,” the prime minister added.


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