The Palestinian Foreign Ministry hailed Norway’s decision to label products made in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, saying it was a “good step” to fulfill its international obligations, including by imposing sanctions on the Tel Aviv regime.
The ministry made the remarks in a statement on Sunday, after the Norwegian government announced that Israeli agricultural products from the occupied West Bank, eastern Al-Quds and the Golan Heights must be labeled with their place of origin, announced the official Palestinian news agency Wafa. reported.
“Norway’s decision is an important legal and moral step in the right direction, leading to a boycott of products [made in] Israeli settlements, prohibiting their entry, and [banning] entry of settlers into European countries and the world,” the ministry said.
“This is a step in the right direction to impose sanctions on the occupying power, because the construction of settlements constitutes a serious violation of international law… and amounts to a war crime and a crime against humanity” , he added.
The ministry further noted that the latest decision is in line with the European Commission’s decision of 2015, as well as the commitment of the European Union and Norway to international law and resolutions of international legitimacy, including including UN Security Council Resolution 2334.
He also said that Israel’s condemnation of this decision confirms once again that the occupation regime “adheres to the crime of colonization”, stressing that it is a clear statement of a systematic policy aimed at impose the widest possible annexation of lands in the occupied West Bank. , including East al-Quds.
The Palestinian ministry further urged all countries to label and boycott products made in Israeli settlements “in order to maintain an international system based on international law and improve the human rights situation in occupied Palestine.” .
In a statement on Friday, Norway said it had adopted a strict labeling system to identify products from Israeli-occupied territories, citing a 2019 ruling by the European Union’s top court requiring products from those regions be labeled as coming from an “Israeli settlement.
The statement points out that the measure mainly concerns imports of olive oil, fruits, vegetables and potatoes.
The European Commission recommended its member states to follow the labeling scheme in 2015, a ruling upheld by the EU Court of Justice in 2019.
The Norwegian government said the principle of announcing its decision, as set out in the 2019 decision, is that consumers should not be misled by misleading labeling about the origin of products.
This decision infuriated the Tel Aviv regime, who said it “will have a negative impact on bilateral relations between Israel and Norway”.
In a similar move last November, Belgium decided to label products made in Israeli settlements illegal, citing its desire to “guarantee human rights in the West Bank”.
Nearly 700,000 Israelis live in illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of Palestinian territories in the West Bank and eastern Al-Quds. The UN Security Council has, in several resolutions, condemned the Tel Aviv regime’s settlement projects, all of which are illegal under international law.
Israel also seized the Golan Heights from Syria in the final stages of its 1967 Six Day War against Jordan, Syria and Egypt. Tel Aviv unilaterally annexed the Golan Heights in 1981 in a move not recognized by the international community.