A Palestinian woman walks past an Israeli border guard at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on November 8 , 2015. AFP PHOTO/HAZEM BADER
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The European Union's decision Wednesday to start labeling Israeli products made in the occupied West Bank delivered a resounding show of international disapproval over Israel's expansion of Jewish settlements and raised the pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to renew peace efforts with the Palestinians.Today, nearly 600,000 Israelis live in the two areas, almost 10 percent of the country's Jewish population.The EU has taken other steps to protest settlement construction. A free-trade policy with Israel does not apply to settlement goods, and a landmark technology-sharing agreement does not allow EU funds to be spent beyond Israel's pre-1967 lines.While the EU is Israel's largest trade partner, settlement products account for less than 2 percent of Israel's 13 billion euro ($14 billion) exports to Europe each year.A total of 12 Israelis have been killed, mostly in stabbings, while 77 Palestinians, 50 of them said by Israel to be attackers, have died.Israel accuses Palestinian leaders of inciting the violence.
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