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US government to label items from Judea and Samaria as tensions between Netanyahu and Biden increase

Move to label items is a reversal of former Trump policy

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks as he visits Israel amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Oct. 18, 2023. (Photo: REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

The United States government is considering implementing regulations that would mandate the explicit labeling of products originating from Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, clearly identifying their place of production, according to a Financial Times report.

According to the report, which cites U.S. officials, the move has not been finalized and is intended to increase pressure on Israel.

Ynet News reported that the move was related to "increasing settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.” Israel denies that there is an increase in settler violence.

However, according to the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), an Israeli think tank, violent incidents by Jews against Palestinians in Judea and Samaria increased significantly following the Oct. 7 Hamas invasion of Israel's southern border communities. The number of violent incidents has only begun to decrease in the last few months. 

The move to label products from Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria would mark a reverse of the Trump policy, from 2020, which allowed goods produced in “Area C" to be labeled as “Made in Israel.” Area C refers to areas in Judea and Samaria that are under Israeli jurisdiction, in contrast to Area A, which is under Palestinian Authority control. 

Such labeling is common in some European countries and appears to highlight the deteriorating relations between the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden and the coalition government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

In March, Biden announced the levying of sanctions against two entire settlements in Judea and Samaria, a first for the U.S. government, which had previously only targeted individual settlers with such measures.

In December, the Biden administration announced the implementation of an entry visa ban on settlers accused of violence against Palestinians, as well as the possible use of sanctions against several individual settlers. 

Biden is reportedly also upset about the building of several new illegal settlements in Judea and Samaria, as well as the coalition government's decision to approve new housing construction in several existing settlements. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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