- Title: Land of wine and honey? Israeli settlers export to UAE, to Palestinian chagrin
- Date: 14th January 2021
- Summary: REHELIM SETTLEMENT, WEST BANK (JANUARY 12, 2021) (REUTERS) ISRAELI SETTLER WINERY OWNER, VERED BEN-SA'ADON, OPENING BOTTLE OF WINE BEN-SA'ADON POURING WINE IN GLASS OU LABEL OF WINE BOTTLE IN (English): "WINE FROM THE LAND OF ISRAEL" (SOUNDBITE) (English) ISRAELI WINERY OWNER, VERED BEN-SA'ADON, SAYING: "My products are not cheap and in the UAE these guys know how to enjoy their life and have very nice houses, hotels, cars, crazy. And they will enjoy it a lot." MAN WORKING AT WINERY PRODUCTION LINE VARIOUS OF BOTTLES OF WINE IN LINE (SOUNDBITE) (English) ISRAELI WINERY OWNER, VERED BEN-SA'ADON, SAYING: "It's very exciting for them (people in the UAE) to feel the peace process, to be a part of it. When you sit in a hotel in Abu Dhabi, and you drink a glass of Tura , it's to be a part of history again."
- Embargoed: 28th January 2021 11:24
- Keywords: Dubai Israel Palestinians UAE olive oil olive trees products settlement settlers wine
- Location: REHELIM SETTLEMENT, YASOUF AND JERICHO, WEST BANK/JERUSALEM/ DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES / WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- City: REHELIM SETTLEMENT, YASOUF AND JERICHO, WEST BANK/JERUSALEM/ DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES / WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Middle East
- Reuters ID: LVA001DV6EP1J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Wine produced in an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank and labelled "from the land of Israel" will soon be available for sale in the United Arab Emirates, settler business leaders said.
Palestinians have condemned the export deal, saying settlements are illegal under international law, a view shared by many countries but disputed by Israel.
After forging official relations with the UAE last year under a U.S.-brokered deal that enraged Palestinians, bottles from Tura Winery in the Rehelim settlement are now in stock in the UAE, an alcohol retailer there said, although they did not appear to be on shelves yet.
The winery owner, Vered Ben-Sa'adon, told Reuters the exports showed that new Israel-UAE ties also extended to settlements, on West Bank land captured in a 1967 war and that Palestinians seek for a state.
"It's very exciting for (people in the UAE) to feel the peace process, to be a part of it. When you sit in a hotel in Abu Dhabi, and drink a glass of Tura, it's to be a part of history," said 44-year-old Ben-Sa'adon, 44.
Tura, which also produces and has sent olive oil to the UAE, places labels on its wine bottles that include the line: "WINE FROM THE LAND OF ISRAEL".
Tura said the term referred to an area that includes Israel and the West Bank, where settlers stake a biblical claim to land they refer to as Judea and Samaria.
But under guidelines issued by outgoing President Donald Trump's administration last year, the United States, Israel's closest ally, said its imports from settlements should be marked "Made in Israel" or "Product of Israel".
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has been critical of Israel's settlements, but has not said if he would change the Trump administration's labelling guidelines.
"It breaks your heart to see your Muslim brothers (in the UAE) support your enemy at your expense," said Nizam Abdul Razzaq, 57, a Palestinian olive and bee farmer in Yasouf, a village two km (1.2 miles) from Rehelim.
Israel disputes that its settlements are illegal, citing biblical, historical and political connections to the land, as well as security needs. Around 440,000 settlers live in the West Bank among some 3 million Palestinians.
(Production: Rami Amichay, Ismael Khader, Adel Abu Nemeh, Abdelhaid Ramahi, Ammar Awad, Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh)
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