Draft common messages aimed at raising awareness among EU citizens and businesses
regarding involvement in financial and economic activities in the settlements
30 June 2014 — The European Union and its Member States consider that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible. The EU and its Member States will not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties. The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights are territories which have been occupied by Israel since 1967.
As a result of the above, the European Union and its Member States are raising European citizens’ and businesses’ awareness on the risks related to economic and financial activities in the settlements. Financial transactions, investments, purchases, procurements as well as other economic activities (including in services like tourism) in Israeli settlements or benefiting Israeli settlements, entail legal and economic risks stemming from the fact that the Israeli settlements, according to international law, are built on occupied land and are not recognised as a legitimate part of Israel’s territory. This may result in disputed titles to the land, water, mineral or other natural resources which might be the subject of purchase or investment.
Possible violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law should also be borne in mind.
Potential buyers and investors should be aware that a future peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, or between Israel and Syria, could have consequences for property they purchase or economic activities they promote in these settlements. In case of disputes, it could be very difficult for Member States to ensure national protection of their interests.
EU citizens and businesses should also be aware of the potential reputational implications of getting involved in economic and financial activities in settlements. EU citizens and businesses contemplating any economic or financial involvement in settlements should seek appropriate legal advice before proceeding.
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Further information about relevant guidelines and guiding principles promoted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations can be obtained on the following websites:
Document Type: Document, Press Release
Document Sources: State
subject: Economic issues, Settlements