|Agricultural products, mostly grown in the Jordan Valley, are one of the main exports of Israeli settlements. Fresh fruits, such as grapes and dates, as well as vegetables, make up a high proportion of the settlement goods exported to the EU. For example, more than 80% of dates and approximately 70% of grapes produced by the illegal Jordan Valley settlements are directed for export.3|
The EU – Israel Association Agreement, which gives Israel a number of trade benefits, but from which Israeli settlements are supposed to be excluded due to the fact they are situated illegally in the occupied State of Palestine, is conditioned upon progress in the Peace Process and Israel’s respect of human rights norms. Israel is in blatant violation of these conditions but faces no consequences beyond condemnatory statements.
In fact, in 2012, despite Israel’s ongoing settlement construction, the EU-Israel Association Council, one of two bodies established to monitor the implementation of the Association agreement, approved 60 concrete activities in over 15 specific fields, including cooperation with a number of EU agencies.