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Gaza

Volume 715: debated on Monday 14 December 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they or the European Union take any legal, political or economic action against individuals and organisations that encourage or support Israelis settling in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. [HL404]

The UK, and the EU as a whole, regard settlements as illegal under international law.

The EU/Israel Association Agreement, in force since 2000, provides for products from Israel to be imported into EU countries at a preferential tariff rate. The EU does not recognise as part of the State of Israel territories occupied by Israel since 1967. EU policy is that goods from settlements do not receive preferential treatment.

In accordance with this, HM Revenue and Customs immediately refuses claims to Israeli preferential rates of duty where the place of production and accompanying postcode, as shown on the proof of origin, is located in a settlement. Since February 2005, HM Revenue and Customs has rejected some 529 proofs of origin and demanded some £338,000 customs duty.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice also makes very clear the risks of investing in illegal settlements.