- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Belgium has advised retailers to clearly label the origin of products made in Israeli settlements that are in occupied Palestinian territories, the economics ministry said Tuesday.

“It’s a non-binding advice to state on labels that products originating from occupied territories come from there,” a spokeswoman said, Reuters reported.

The ministry contends that the recommendation has nothing to do with the escalating war in Gaza, arguing that Britain and Denmark also follow similar guidelines.

“We don’t see this as a sanction against Israel, but EU rules stipulate that consumers have to be informed of the origins of products,” the spokeswoman said.

The labels would typically apply to fruit and vegetables grown in the West Bank’s Jordan valley, Reuters reported.

Under international law, Jewish settlements in occupied Palestinian territory are not considered part of Israel. Israel has strongly opposed any move to clearly label produce from Jewish settlements, arguing that the distinction is part of a larger effort to impose Palestine’s legitimacy, Reuters reported.