Israel agrees to exclude Judea, Samaria from billion dollar trade deal with South Korea

The “multi-billion-dollar” free trade pact with South Korea – excluding products from Judea, Samaria and the Golan – is due to be signed next week.

By World Israel News Staff

After facing decisions in Europe and Canada against the labeling of goods produced in territories captured by the IDF in the 1967 war as made in Israel, the Jewish State has now reportedly agreed to drop products made in those areas from a free trade deal with South Korea.

The “multi-billion-dollar” free trade pact is due to be signed next week when South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee arrives on an official visit, Ynet reported on Thursday. Items made in Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights will be excluded, it says.

“This is the first time [an] Israeli government has agreed to sign a free trade deal, the benefits of which wouldn’t extend to the Jewish State’s disputed territories,” Ynet writes.

In June, a senior adviser to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued a non-binding legal opinion that products made in a location captured by Israel in 1967 must be separately labeled as coming from that territory and should not be labeled as made in Israel.

In July, Canada’s Federal Court ruled against labeling products manufactured in Judea and Samaria as made in Israel, saying that doing so is “false, misleading, and deceptive.”

The deal with Seoul “has been in negotiations for years,” according to the news outlet.

It “includes a provision where the goods originating from the Israeli settlements in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and the Golan Heights would not be exempt from customs fees,” Ynet reports.

The news site adds that the volume of trade between Israel and South Korea “is expected to skyrocket” after the deal takes effect.

“This is the first free trade agreement signed with a major Asian country and is expected to pave the way for similar deals with other states in the region,” the report says, estimating that the ultimate financial benefits of signing the accord with South Korea would be “in the billions of dollars.”

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in recently hailed the expanding relations between Seoul and Jerusalem when Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin paid a visit in July.