West bank, 21 Dhulhijja 1435/15 October 2014 (MINA) -The European Union will no longer accept dairy exports from Israeli ilegal settlements in occupied West Bank beginning in January.
The Israeli Agriculture Ministry stated on Tuesday its dairy factories, “As of January 1, 2015, will no longer be possible to export dairy products, either directly or indirectly to EU,” Israeli Jerusalem Post quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
The Ministry spokesman Amnon Lieberman said the dairy market is primarily a local one and that only a small percentage of its products are exported to Europe.
The primary dairy export to Europe is powdered milk, he added, the issue was significant because of its diplomatic implications. The new ban is the result of a small technicality in EU legislation with regard to inspection of the products, which was applied to Israel for the first time this year.
The European Commission no longer recognizes the authority of inspection agencies over the pre-1967 lines, and without such an inspection the dairy products from those areas of the country, including east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, cannot be sold in the EU.
European countries in the last few years have grown increasingly vocal about their opposition to Israeli illegal settlements in West Bank, but there is no official boycott of its exports.
As of June, a similar ban was applied to poultry from over the pre-1967 lines and, beginning in February, fish will be included in the ban, the Ministry said. (T/R04/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)