UN Reveals 112 Businesses Operating in Illegal West Bank Settlements

Jewish settlements in West Bank. Photo: New York Times

Rabat – The UN Human Rights Office released its report yesterday on businesses operating in illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine.

The report comes in response to a request mandate from the UNHRC dating back to 2016 that called for a database of businesses involved in specific activities relating to the settlements. 

The report identifies 112 business entities, of which 94 are based in Israel. The remaining 18 are based in six other states: Luxembourg, the US, the UK, France, the Netherlands, and Thailand.

The activities include supplying equipment and materials facilitating the construction and expansion of settlements and Israel’s West Bank barrier. 

Businesses that supply equipment for housing and property demolition and the destruction of farms, greenhouses, olive groves, and crops are also on the list.

Included are companies that provide services and utilities supporting the maintenance and existence of settlements, including transportation.

Finally, banking and financial operations helping to develop, expand, or maintain settlements and their activities, including loans for housing and businesses, are listed. 

The list of businesses includes Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, Opodo, TripAdvisor, and Motorola.

“The publication of the list of companies and parties operating in settlements is a victory for international law,” remarked the Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki.

He also called on the Human Rights Council member states to “issue recommendations and instructions to these companies to end their work immediately with the settlements”.

The list “should put all companies on notice: to do business with illegal settlements is to aid in the commission of war crimes,” Human Rights Watch maintained.

Israel, meanwhile, has dubbed the report “shameful.”

“Whoever boycotts us will be boycotted,” Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated on Twitter. “We strongly reject this contemptible effort.” 

The Yesha Council,  representing Jewish settlers, argued the list has “clear anti-Semitic features.” 

The body insisted the companies were “working to strengthen the economy in the area and are contributing to peace more than the UN has done in all its years of operation,” according to the BBC.

Since Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967, the Jewish state has built around 140 settlements home to 600,000 Jews. The settlements are considered illegal under international law.

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Source: moroccoworldnews.com