‘Ban Israel settlement goods'

14 September 2010 - 3:48pm
Press release

Charity presses Hague for action

Campaigners today stepped up their pressure on the British government to ban goods from illegal Israeli settlements after Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu signalled he will not extend a partial moratorium on settlement construction.

The anti-poverty charity War on Want called for action by UK foreign secretary William Hague as Israel looks set to end the moratorium on 26 September.

According to reports, Netanyahu has told Tony Blair, special envoy for the Quartet on the Middle East, that Israel will not renew the freeze.

War on Want senior campaigns officer Yasmin Khan said: "Netanyahu has shown he is not interested in halting the settlement expansion programme. The British government remains complicit in Israel's breaches of international humanitarian law by allowing retailers to import goods from illegal settlements. The government must ban the sale of settlement goods immediately."

The charity's alert also comes as a British member of the European parliament bids for EU-wide moves to ensure correct labels on settlers' goods and to prevent settlement goods benefiting from reduced tariffs under trade agreements.

A written declaration proposed by North West MEP Arlene McCarthy, urging the European Commission to act, has been supported by 27 other members of the parliament.

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • The US president Barack Obama, the United Nations and the European Union have made repeated calls on Israel to halt its settlements expansion and condemned them as a barrier to peace in the region

CONTACT: Paul Collins, War on Want media office (+44) (0)20 7549 0584 or (+44) (0)7983 550728

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