Jerusalem24– The Norwegian government is to differentiate between Israeli imports produced within the Green Line and products from Israeli settlements by clearly marking the place of origin on labels.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Norwegian government announced that the “Made in Israel” mark of origin is only suitable for products coming from territories under Israeli control prior to June 4th, 1967.
The statement added that “food coming from the areas occupied by Israel must be labeled with the region from which the product comes and [indicate] that it is from an Israeli settlement if that is its source.”
The Norwegian government said that the measure will apply to the occupied territories in the Golan Heights and the West Bank including East Jerusalem, and concerns mainly imports of wine, olive oil, fruit, and vegetables.
The European Commission took a similar decision in 2015 providing for the establishment of distinctive labeling as recommended by previous EU guidelines. A 2019 decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union, ruling on a lawsuit brought by Israeli settlement winery Psagot, upheld the opinion that failing to inform consumers of the settlement origin of goods constituted a breach of those consumers’ rights to make an informed decision.
All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. According to a 2019 report by Amnesty, “companies doing business with, in or related to the settlements may lay themselves open to the criminal charge of complicity in gross human rights abuses, including war crimes.”
A 2022 investigation by Jerusalem24 in partnership with Danwatch found that major Israeli date producers from settlements in the Jordan Valley export their produce to Europe while failing to disclose they employ cheap labor from Palestinians, whose access to their own agricultural lands is restricted or forbidden by Israeli authorities.