The European Union's Ambassador to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, warned on Friday that a growing number of EU states are "losing their patience" with Israel and urging their citizens not to do business with companies registered in Israeli settlements.
Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Britain and the Netherlands are among the countries that are "more consistently implementing existing policy, and taking further steps to disengage from the settlements," Faaborg-Andersen told a business seminar organized by the Geneva Initiative.
He warned other countries will follow suit and issue advisories against doing business with Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as with Israeli communities and cities in the Golan Heights, if Israel does not halt settlement construction.
Italian Foreign Minister Frederico Mogherini on Friday urged his countrymen "not to get involved in financial activity and investments" in West Bank settlements, while Spain on Thursday declared that the settlements "constitute an obstacle to peace."
"The potential buyers and investors should know that a future peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians or between Israel and Syria could have consequences both for properties acquired and for economic activities promoted in said settlements. In case of litigation, it could be very difficult for member states to guarantee the protection of their interests," the Spanish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website.
The statement went on to warn that "the current situation could lead to disputes over land, water, quarries or natural resources that were acquired or in which money was invested. Companies must take into account that (financial activity in the settlements) is liable to lead to their involvement in breaking international law and violating human rights."
Despite that, a Spanish Foreign Ministry spokesman said that the statement does not constitute a call for a boycott on Israel.
"The statement is not intended as a call for a boycott in any way, or to limit economic cooperation between Spain and Israel within its internationally-recognized borders," Carlos Entrena Moratiel told JTA.
France, like Spain, advised its citizens to "seek legal advice" before investing in businesses in the disputed territories.