WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 10: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives at the U.S. Capitol ahead of meetings with members of the Senate November 10, 2015 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP
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The EU executive approved new guidelines Wednesday for labeling products made in Israeli settlements, a move leaving neither Palestinians or Israelis satisfied.Drawn up over three years by the European Commission, the guidelines mean Israeli producers must explicitly label farm goods and cosmetics that come from settlements built on occupied land if they are sold in the European Union.The foreign ministry issued a statement condemning the move, which it sees as an effort to put pressure on Israel over its settlements policy, and summoned the EU ambassador to Israel.Israel's ambassador to the European Union, David Walzer, warned it could make peace efforts with the Palestinians even more difficult and said the EU might no longer be a welcome broker.Two elements of the EU decision have particularly enraged Israeli officials.Since 2004, Israeli settlement products have not benefited from EU trade preferences.That is around a fifth of the $200-$300 million worth of goods produced in settlements each year, but a drop in the ocean next to the $30 billion of goods and services Israel exports to the EU annually, a third of all its exports.
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