News   /   Interviews

US tells Israel settlement goods need labeling

The US says Israeli goods from settlements should be labeled. (file photo)

The United States has reiterated that products imported from the occupied Palestinian territories should not be erroneously labeled as made in Israel.

The guidelines were reissued last week by the US Customs administration in response to repeated Israeli mislabeling of West Bank products.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the decision to reissue the policy had been taken after complaints that some West Bank products had been mislabeled prior to US import.

"US Customs and Border Protection reissued guidance on their marking requirements," he told reporters. "It in no way supersedes prior rulings or regulations.

"And nor does it impose additional requirements with respect to merchandise imported from the West Bank, Gaza Strip or Israel."

"Our understanding is that there were allegations of mislabeling, around nine or ten complaints," Toner said, explaining why US Customs had reissued its guidance.

"As you know, US guidelines don't differentiate between products produced in settlements or anywhere else in the West Bank," he said.

The US Customs statement, visible on the agency's website, restates the terms of 1995 and 1997 laws requiring that goods from Gaza and the West Bank be labeled as such.

"It is not acceptable to mark the aforementioned goods with the words 'Israel,' 'Made in Israel,' 'Occupied Territories-Israel' or any variation thereof," the statement said.

The European Union recently acted to prevent such violations.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a staunch supporter of settlement expansion, has condemned the labeling.

Now James Morris, editor of, says the US is paying ‘lip service’ by making such moves as it is basically been corrupted by pro-Israeli lobby, AIPAC.

Morris added that such acts come under similar international pressure, but in reality the US does not do anything to stop the Israeli colonization of Palestinian territories.

He further pointed to international movements and advocacy groups that have long called for a ban on such Israeli products.

Last November, the pro-Palestinian international movement of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) announced plans to expand its anti-Israeli boycott.

The BDS Movement is a global campaign which uses economic and political pressure on Israel to comply with the goals of the movement -- the end of Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestinian land particularly through illegal settlement constructions in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The movement against the Tel Aviv regime began in July 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations, calling for “various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law.”

Under international law, all Israeli settlements are illegal.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank including East al-Quds (Jerusalem) in 1967.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku