‘If you’re a company operating in settlements, you are involved in systematic injustice’

(QNN) – Amnesty has written to all companies in the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 Index, spelling out the human rights and reputational issues of the trade in goods and services in the settlements.

The international organisation warned the companies that they will be involved in human rights violations – including war crimes – if they do business in or with the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

A copy of Amnesty’s new 50-page report (Think Twice: Can companies do business with the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories while respecting human rights?)  was sent to all FTSE 100 and 250 CEOs – along with leading corporate law firms, the Confederation of British Industry, the Institute of Directors and the Association of British Insurers.

The report says that no company can involve itself in this economy without contributing to – or being linked to – human rights abuses.

The issue of business involvement in Israel’s settlements recently made headlines when the US online travel company Airbnb announced it would withdraw some 200 listings located in illegal settlements in the West Bank.

As Amnesty noted in a recent report on the online travel sector, along with TripAdvisor, Expedia and Booking.com, Airbnb is still profiting from the occupation and theft of Palestinian land and resources, according to Amnesty.

Several other business sectors – such as banking, law firms, construction companies, and food and manufacturing companies – are also heavily implicated in the expansion of the settlements.

Amnesty says that no company can do business in or with the settlements in a way that is consistent with international humanitarian and human rights law because the illegal settlements breach the Geneva Conventions and amount to war crimes.

“Whether they’re a funky digital-era outfit or a decades-old FTSE 100 giant, all companies need to understand there’s no way to do business in or with Israel’s settlements without contributing to human rights violations against the Palestinian people,” Peter Frankental, Amnesty International UK’s Economic Affairs Programme Director, said. “It’s very simple – if you’re a company operating in or doing business with the settlements, then you’re involved in systematic injustice, discrimination and other human rights violations perpetrated by the state of Israel against Palestinians,” he added.

Frankental added that the companies involving in the settlement enterprise are bad for the Palestinian people and they should watch out for their reputation.

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