June 2, 2023


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Land of wine and honey? Israeli settlers export to UAE, to Palestinian chagrin

(This Jan. 14 story deletes paragraph 15 and amends paragraph 3 just after alcohol retailer African + Eastern clarified it does not stock Tura wine, opposite to an earlier communication.)

REHELIM, West Financial institution/DUBAI (Reuters) – Wine made in an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Lender and labelled “from the land of Israel” will soon be out there for sale in the United Arab Emirates, settler company leaders reported.

Palestinians have condemned the export offer, stating settlements are unlawful beneath global law, a perspective shared by numerous nations but disputed by Israel.

Soon after forging formal relations with the UAE past yr below a U.S.-brokered deal that enraged Palestinians, a business enterprise conglomerate in the Arab Gulf state states it has an import deal for wine and olive oil with the Tura Winery in the Rehelim settlement.

The winery’s owner, Vered Ben-Sa’adon, informed Reuters the exports confirmed that new Israel-UAE ties also prolonged to settlements, on West Financial institution land captured in a 1967 war and that Palestinians look for for a state.

“It’s incredibly fascinating for (people today in the UAE) to really feel the peace procedure, to be a element of it. When you sit in a lodge in Abu Dhabi, and drink a glass of Tura (wine), it is to be a section of history,” explained Ben-Sa’adon, 44.

Tura, which also creates and has sent olive oil to the UAE, sites labels on its wine bottles that contain the line: “WINE FROM THE LAND OF ISRAEL”.

Tura mentioned the expression referred to an location that incorporates Israel and the West Bank, where settlers stake a biblical assert to land they refer to as Judea and Samaria.

The UAE declined comment when asked for the government’s placement on Israel’s settlements, but it has mentioned that its relations with Israel would progress peace in the area.

The UAE has not reported if it would position special labels on settler products indicating they were generated in settlements.

These labels are needed by the European Union.

But less than recommendations issued by outgoing President Donald Trump’s administration past 12 months, the United States, Israel’s closest ally, explained its imports from settlements need to be marked “Made in Israel” or “Product of Israel”.

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has been crucial of Israel’s settlements, but has not reported if he would modify the Trump administration’s labelling pointers.


“It breaks your heart to see your Muslim brothers (in the UAE) guidance your enemy at your price,” mentioned Nizam Abdul Razzaq, 57, a Palestinian olive and bee farmer in Yasouf, a village two km (1.2 miles) from Rehelim.

Shots posted to Tura’s Fb web site clearly show it held a signing ceremony in Dubai in December with FAM Holding, a UAE organization conglomerate. A bottle of Tura wine can be seen on the desk at the function.

A FAM representative stated it experienced import bargains for wine and olive oil with Tura and for honey with Paradise Honey, a enterprise in the West Lender settlement of Hermesh.

FAM’s Israel imports have been authorized by the UAE governing administration, the consultant additional, devoid of indicating if origin labels would be expected.

Matan Paradise, whose family members operates Paradise Honey, reported they experienced sent a “small, very first shipment to Dubai. I hope in the subsequent month we will deliver a whole lot more.”

The economic climate ministry of the Palestinian Authority, which has confined self-rule in the West Bank, named the UAE’s purchase of settlement goods “a flagrant violation of global laws … and an endeavor to legitimise settlements in occupied territory.”

Israel disputes that its settlements are unlawful, citing biblical, historic and political connections to the land, as very well as safety wants. Around 440,000 settlers are living in the West Financial institution among some 3 million Palestinians.

Added reporting by Ali Sawafta in the West Lender Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Mike Collett-White