The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, Michael Link, welcomed the decision of the European Court of Justice to post posters indicating the origin of goods coming from Israeli settlements and that goods coming from settlements in the occupied territories should have a marking “It is a product of a settlement, not a product of Israel, or made in Israel,” he said, noting that governance is grounded, an important first step in building a culture of the rule of law and accountability when it comes to Israeli settlements.
The international law considers the settlements illegal and a war crime alleged under the Rome Statute, so the least that can be done is for European consumers to get accurate information about the source of the product when purchasing their needs, said Link.
The court ruling suggests that consumer choices may be influenced by several factors, including health, the environment and social and ethical considerations, and found that food law in Europe prohibits any practices that mislead the consumer.
The Special Rapporteur added that it was also important to stress that the Court had made it clear that the European Union had committed itself to abide by international law. Under international law, the establishment of settlements was contrary to the Fourth Geneva Convention and impeded the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.
Link called on the international community, as well as the European Union, to focus their attention now on preventing all settlement goods and services from entering local markets.