PLO secretary general Saeb Erekat
PLO secretary general Saeb Erekat © Vladimir Rodas - AFP/File
PLO secretary general Saeb Erekat
AFP
Last updated: November 11, 2015

EU settlement labelling positive step but not enough: PLO

The Palestine Liberation Organisation on Wednesday said an EU decision to label goods from Israeli settlements was a positive step but did not go far enough.

"EU labelling of settlement products is a step in the right direction but insufficient," the PLO's negotiations affairs department said on Twitter. "Products of a war crime must be banned not just labelled."

PLO secretary general Saeb Erekat also welcomed the decision, calling it a "significant move toward a total boycott of Israeli settlements, which are built illegally on occupied Palestinian lands."

"We believe that more actions are necessary to hold Israel accountable for the crimes it continues to commit against the land and people of Palestine," he said in a statement.

The EU move is a set of guidelines for labelling products from Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories and annexed east Jerusalem as well as the Golan Heights, all occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The settlements are deemed illegal under international law and are considered a major stumbling block to peace efforts since those in the West Bank and east Jerusalem are built on land Palestinians see as part of their future state.

Israel has reacted furiously to the move, calling it "discriminatory" and summoning the EU envoy.

Trade from settlements accounts for only a small portion of commerce between the European Union and Israel, but carries important symbolic weight.

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