The rejection of the EU-Israel Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of industrial products (ACAA) is important for the promotion of peace and justice. In its agreements with third countries, we believe that the EU should promote and respect human rights and fundamental values. The benefits brought by the adoption of such agreements should not be built on breaches of international law, unlawful or inequitable exploitation of resources and/or unfair and discriminatory practices. In the case of the EU-Israel ACAA, EU citizens do not want to benefit from Israeli control over Palestinian land; obstacles to the movement of goods and people and exploitation of natural resources by the Israeli authorities; and the forced dependency of Palestinians on Israeli regulations and policies which impedes prospects of sustainable growth in the OPT and benefits Israeli industries.
The Palestinian pharmaceutical industry is, in many respects, a prisoner of the Israeli system since Israel controls the borders of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and many of its economic affairs that affect trade: Palestinian pharmaceutical companies are dependent on Israeli government bodies, customs and market. Israeli standards are one of the many tools used to disconnect Palestinian pharmaceutical industry from entering markets. Due to the annexation of East Jerusalem, illegal under international law, Palestinian institutions located there are obliged to purchase goods produced by Israeli companies
The report furthers reveals how Israel’s direct rule of the OPT allows the exploitation of its land and resources. The politics of the occupation create a structural inequality, in which it is extremely difficult for Palestinians to import raw materials and export pharmaceuticals, while Israeli manufacturers can import their products without checkpoints, security checks or special permits. Israeli control over Palestinian land, obstacles to the movement of goods and people, exploitation of natural resources and dependency on Israeli regulations and policies all contribute to this unequal situation.
If the EU-Israel ACAA is adopted, new annexes relating to other industrial products will be concluded. Israeli companies producing those products could benefit from the occupation, preferential regulations, restrictions to movements of goods and people and exploitation of resources just as Israeli pharmaceutical companies do. They also should not benefit from preferential relations with the EU.
I refuse to benefit from this and to contribute to the deterioration of the economic situation of the Palestinian population. In this spirit, I urge you to reject the EU-Israel ACAA agreement.