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The New Arab Staff

Settlers export 'made in Israel' goods to UAE

Israeli firms have rushed to secure lucrative business deals with the UAE [Getty]

Date of publication: 11 January, 2021

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A shipment of olive oil and honey from Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank has been exported to the UAE.
Products made by Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank have been exported to the United Arab Emirates with country of origin identified as "Israel" on the labels, officials said on Sunday.

A shipment of olive oil and honey from the Tura Winery in the Rehelim settlement and Paradise Honey in the Hermesh settlement have been exported, the Samaria Regional Council, which operates from the illegally occupied West Bank, said.

"This is a historic day for Samaria and the entire State of Israel," the council's head Yossi Dagan said, using the biblical name for the occupied West Bank. 

Right-wing settler leader Dagan was photographed holding a box of goods that said "Tura Winery, Rehelim, Israel."

The move comes after a Dubai distribution company inked a controversial deal with Israeli settler-owned companies for the export and distribution of their goods.

Among the products to be exported under the deal were wines and olive oils produced on occupied Palestinian land.

Rights groups have long campaigned that countries must identify products made in Israeli settlements on their labels.

"These settlements are illegal under international law. They are a purported war crime under the Statute of Rome. So, at the very least, consumers must have accurate information before them when they make purchasing choices," Michael Lynk, UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian territories, said.

Israel and the UAE normalised relations in September. Israeli firms have since 
rushed to secure lucrative business deals with the Gulf state.

Israel has occupied the West Bank illegally since 1967, and commits various abuses against Palestinian civilians there, human rights groups say.

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

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