Trade: EU hands Palestinians a legal victory
26 February 2010
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that products originating from the Israeli-occupied territories may no longer benefit from custom duties exemptions granted to Israel under its association agreement with the EU. "Thursday, 25 February will no doubt mark an important victory for pro-Palestinian militants," writes Le Soir. "The ruling sets the stage for jurisprudence over an issue (the origination rule) that has poisoned trade relations between Europe and Israel for a long time."
The Belgian daily notes that on 8 December 2009 "the 27-member EU government again restated its recognition of the 1949 cease-fire lines as the Jewish state's borders," which excludes the territories occupied by Israel since 1967. Some 276 Israeli companies, "from SMEs to multinationals" are located in the occupied territories, Le Soir reports.