UN report identifies 112 firms linked to Israeli settlements

WION Web Team Geneva, Switzerland Feb 13, 2020, 01.15 PM(IST)

The logo of the United Nations (L) and the West Bank settlement (R) Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The UN report comes in response to a 2016 UN Human Rights Council resolution calling for a "database for all businesses engaged in specific activities related to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory".

The United Nations has identified US companies such as Airbnb, Expedia and TripAdvisor among 112 firms linked to Israeli settlements which are considered illegal under international law.

The UN report comes in response to a 2016 UN Human Rights Council resolution calling for a "database for all businesses engaged in specific activities related to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory".

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The UN rights office said that listing companies in the database was "not, and does not purport to be, a judicial or quasi-judicial process".

Among the businesses on the list are a range of large international companies, including Airbnb, Alstom, Booking.com and Motorola Solutions.

"I am conscious this issue has been, and will continue to be, highly contentious," UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said.

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But she added that the findings had been subject to an "extensive and meticulous review process" and the report "reflects the serious consideration that has been given to this unprecedented and highly complex mandate".

The move was cheered by the Palestinians but slammed as "shameful" by Israel, where officials fear the list could be used to boycott firms with ties to the settlements.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the list and called it a ''contemptible effort."

"Whoever boycotts us will be boycotted," he added.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz labelled the move "a shameful surrender to pressure from countries and organisations who want to harm Israel."

His Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Maliki meanwhile described the publication as "a victory for international law and diplomatic efforts."

Israeli settlements established in occupied Palestinian territory are considered to violate international law, and have long been seen as a major obstacle to peace, since they are built on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state.