BDSNews

UN releases black lists of intl companies involved in illegal Israeli settlements

United Nations (QNN)- The United Nations human rights office has released the long-awaited report on companies that have business ties to illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

In a statement on Wednesday, the UN body said it identified 112 business entities which it has reasonable grounds to conclude have ties with Israeli settlements across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem- 94 domiciled in Israel and 18 in six other countries.

International companies listed in the document include Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, JCB, Opodo, TripAdvisor and Motorola Solutions.

Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said the companies’ activities “raised particular human rights concerns”.

“I am conscious this issue has been and will continue to be, highly contentious,” Bachelet said in a statement.

“However, after an extensive and meticulous review process, we are satisfied this fact-based report reflects the serious consideration that has been given to this unprecedented and highly complex mandate, and that it responds appropriately to the Human Rights Council’s request contained in resolution 31/36.”

Airbnb said in November 2018 that it would remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

But it said the following April that it would not implement the planned delisting and would donate proceeds from any bookings in the territory to international humanitarian aid organisations.

About 600,000 Israeli colonizers live in about 140 settlements built since the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. The settlements are considered illegal under international law.

Commenting on the release of the list, the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, said the UN was “significant” but “incomplete”.

“The database is incomplete. All companies that are complicit in Israel’s apartheid regime and its grave violations of Palestinian rights under international law must be added to ensure accountability,” BDS said in a statement.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki hailed the decision, calling a “victory for international law”.

“Publishing this list of companies and entities operating in the settlements is a victory for international law and diplomatic efforts,” Malki said in a statement.

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