Occupied Jerusalem: The European Union has banned the import of poultry and eggs from Jews-only Israeli colonies in the occupied West Bank, including annexed east Jerusalem, Israeli news website Walla reported on Thursday.
The 28-nation bloc informed the Israeli agriculture ministry that it recognised its veterinary supervision only within the regime’s pre-1967 borders and that colony poultry produce therefore did not meet public health regulations for import, the website said.
An EU official in Tel Aviv confirmed the report and said the ruling was issued “in the spirit” of guidelines that came into force in January prohibiting dealings with colony-based firms and bodies.
The colonies are illegal under international law and their continued expansion in the face of EU and US criticism was a prime factor in the collapse of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
“This issue, like many other trade issues that come up in the framework of trade relations between Israel and the European Union, will be addressed within the framework of the ongoing professional dialogue between the parties,” Walla quoted an agriculture ministry spokesperson as saying.
The ministry declined to comment when contacted.
“It should be noted that poultry and poultry-related products from the [colonies] account for under five per cent of all such products in Israel, so that the new European guideline will not have much practical impact from an economic standpoint,” Walla reported.