More than a dozen European governments have called for the labelling of goods produced in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Diplomats from 16 countries, including some of Israel's closest allies, signed a letter calling on EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to start the process. Israel's Haaretz daily published the letter on Thursday.

A European diplomat confirmed the authenticity of the letter. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was discussing internal EU affairs.

Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 war. Palestinians demand the territory as part of their future state. The international community views settlements as illegitimate.

The European Union is Israel's largest trading partner.

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Associated Press writer John-Thor Dahlburg in Brussels contributed to this report.