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Senators push for West Bank settlement goods to be labeled 'Made in Israel'

An aerial view of an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank [AFP/Getty]

Date of publication: 19 November, 2020

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A group of Republican Senators urged President Trump to issue an executive order allowing settlement goods to be labeled as 'Made in Israel'.
A group of Republican Senators have sent a letter to President Donald Trump this week asking him to allow goods produced in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank to be labeled as "Made in Israel".

The group, led by Republican senator Tom Cotton, urged President Trump to issue an executive order allowing the move, Axios reported, having obtained a copy of the letter.

The letter was signed by Cotton, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Kely Loeffler. 

The Senators urged the president to issue the order before the White House changes administration in January, fearing that settlement-made goods would be "prime targets for BDS boycotts".

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement calls for various boycotts against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law.

The Senators feared a Biden presidency would take a harder line on Israeli settlements in the West Bank - reinstating a policy that distinguishes between Israel and Jewish settlements on Palestinian territory.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo landed in Israel on Wednesday. He is expected to make an unprecedented visit to an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

The visit comes exactly one year after Pompeo said that the United States did not consider Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory to be illegal, putting Washington at odds with UN Security Council resolutions and virtually all other countries except Israel.

More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.

President Trump broke with decades of US practice by not criticising Israeli settlement construction in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem or the occupied West Bank. 

Agencies contributed to this report.

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