A Solidarity Day with the Palestinian People was organized by the Parliamentary Group of Friendship Portugal-Palestine, at the Library of the Parliament of the Republic of Portugal on the 28th of November. The commemoration included a speech by the President of the Group of Friendship P Mr. Bruno Dias, the Ambassador of Palestine Dr. Hikmat Ajjuri and the Vice-President of the Parliament Mr. Jorge Lacão. The event ended with a presentation of Palestinian poems by Maria de Céu Guerra.
The Israel government condemns France decision to label settlement products and says that this decision come as reacted to the failure of its efforts to hold an international peace conference end if the year.
According to Israeli public radio Reshet B Israel has condemned the French government’s decision to implement the EU instructions for labeling Israelit products manufactured in settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli Foreign Ministry said that by this decision France may strengthen the measures that could be interpreted as support extremist groups positions, including the boycott movement against Israel.
An Israeli political source said France decision to mark Israeli settlements products come after it failed in its efforts to hold an international peace conference .
On Thursday The French government published regulations requiring importers and retailers to label all products originating from settlements in the occupied territories .
According Israeli newspaper Haaretz the notification is headed “Notice to economic operators concerning the indication of origin of goods originating in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967.” It states that, in accordance with the November 2015 European Commission guidelines, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are occupied territories and not considered part of the State of Israel. Therefore, in order not to deceive consumers, the regulations say it is necessary to mark the precise place from which goods originating in these areas came, and not mark them as products of Israel.
Under the new regulations, if a product comes from a settlement, French retailers and importers must make this clear on the packaging and not just name the geographical location where the product originated.
The regulations make it clear that this is intended to prevent a situation in which consumers are misled and think they are buying Palestinian goods from the West Bank or East Jerusalem.
The regulations also state that the geographical region from where the product originated must be noted – for example, “the West Bank” – and then, in parenthesis on the packaging, it must be stated when the product comes from “an Israeli settlement.”
It is not clear why the French government has published these regulations now – a full year after the European Commission guidelines. So far, many countries in Europe have refrained from issuing unique regulations for their retailers and importers, but instead have made do with the general European Commission guidelines.
The November 2015 European Commission guidelines were concerned with labeling fresh fruit and vegetables, wine, honey, olive oil, eggs, poultry, organic products and cosmetics. They are not obligatory with regard to packaged foodstuffs and industrial products that are not cosmetics.
The guidelines, published due to pressure by many countries on EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, also stated that the European Union does not recognize Israeli sovereignty beyond the 1967 lines, irrespective of the status of those territories in Israeli law, and is interested in having regulations and legislation in Europe reflect this position.
The European Commission stated that enforcement of the regulations is the responsibility of the authorities in each of the 28 EU countries. It is the member countries who will determine what punishments to impose on those who do not carry out the instructions. However, the instructions do obligate the countries to impose sanctions on anyone who violates the regulations and does not mark settlement products accordingly.
The European Commission retains the possibility of initiating procedures to examine violations if the member countries don’t deal with this themselves.
The publication of the European Commission regulations triggered a major crisis between Israel and the European Union last year, with Israel suspending contacts with the EU on the Palestinian issue for about three months. The crisis only ended this February after negotiations between the two sides.
The Arab information ministers council decided on Wednesday to choose Al Quds (east Jerusalem) as “Arab Media Capital”.
The decision was taken at the end of the 47th session of the Arab information ministers council held in Cairo.
Jerusalem selection comes in recognition of its high status in the heart of the Arab and Islamic worlds.
The Ambassador Hikmat Ajjuri and his staff met with the new Portuguese Parliamentary Friendship Group on the 17th of November 2016.
The Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation (CPPC) organized with the support of the Municipality of Loures a Solidarity Session with Palestine at the Ary dos Santos Municipal Library in Sacavém on the 7th of November 2016, with the presence of the president of the Municipality Bernardino Soares, Ambassador of the Diplomatic Mission of Palestine Hikmat Ajjuri and the President of CPPC Ilda Figueiredo.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims that the culture of hate in Israeli society lies on the fringe.
In truth, Netanyahu and his extremist coalition have generated this culture and harbored its racist elements even within the government.