European parliament votes to label Israeli settlement products
The European Parliament passed a non-binding resolution Thursday calling on the European Union to differentiate "between Israel and its activities in the occupied Palestinian Territory." The resolution, which passed by 525 votes to 70, with 31 abstentions, called on EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini “to take the lead within the Commission with a view to completing the work on EU-wide guidelines on the labeling of Israeli settlement produce.”
In Jerusalem, the Foreign Ministry denounced the process of labeling as “discriminatory” and said it reeks of boycott. “Under the guise of a technical procedure, it’s an attempt to force a diplomatic solution, instead of encouraging the Palestinians to return to negotiations.” The Foreign Ministry spokesperson said, “Europe treats Israel with sanctimonious hypocrisy, while it doesn’t raise the issue of similar solutions in Northern Cyprus and Western Sahara.”
In Paris, Mahmoud Abbas rejected Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s call Thursday from 10, Downing Street in London, to launch Israeli-Palestinian peace talks without preconditions. Abbas’s negative reply came from a joint French-Palestinian cabinet meeting in Paris.