update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

US mulls labeling goods produced in Judea and Samaria

The move would reverse a Trump administration decision to label products originating in the region as "Made in Israel."

Members of the Nachala Settlement Movement near Kiryat Arba in Judea, July 20, 2022. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Members of the Nachala Settlement Movement near Kiryat Arba in Judea, July 20, 2022. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

The Biden administration is preparing to label goods produced in Judea and Samaria, the Financial Times reported on Friday, citing U.S. officials.

While it is undecided as to when the move will take place, it comes amid increasing tensions between Jerusalem and Washington over the prosecution of the six-month war in Gaza and disputes over the extent of Israeli violence directed at Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, including U.S. sanctions on Jews living in the area.

Such labeling would reverse a Trump administration policy implemented in 2020 that required products originating in the Israeli region, called the Israeli-administered Area C under the Oslo Accords, to be labeled as “Made in Israel.”

According to the Financial Times report, the Biden administration was close to announcing the step last month after Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich on March 22 announced that the Civil Administration declared 2,000 acres in the Jordan Valley as state land. The announcement took place during a visit to Israel by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Two days later, the U.S. declined to veto a U.N. Security Council resolution that for the first time separated the demand for a ceasefire in Gaza from the release of the Israeli hostages held by Hamas. The American sources told the Financial Times that they did not want to announce the product labeling around the same time as the U.N. move.

The European Union approved regulations in 2019 labeling Judea and Samaria products as originating in “occupied territories,” a designation that Jerusalem disputes.

For its part, Israel continues to develop Judea and Samaria, with the Civil Administration on Friday announcing approval of the “deposit” planning stage of a plan to build 234 housing units in Kiryat Arba, changing the zoning for the neighborhood in question from industrial to residential.

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