UN publishes list of companies involved in Israeli settlements

The United Nations has published a list of companies with ties to Israeli settlements. The UN report came just one month before renewed calls for the blockade on Gaza to be lifted in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 122 companies named include six US-based and three UK-based businesses. “Business enterprises have, directly and indirectly, enabled, facilitated and profited from the construction and growth of the settlements,” according to the report.

Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Booking.com, General Mills and UK-based JCB all appear on the list. JCB has been criticised the use of its tractors in the demolition of Palestinian homes. General Mills has been criticised for using land and water from Palestinian territories for its products. And Amnesty International published a report last year which stated that Airbnb, Bookings Holdings (owner of Bookings.com), Expedia and Trip Advisor were profiting from Israeli settlements through the travel services they were providing there.

The report, which is the culmination of a four-year fact finding mission, was published in February, just one month before civil society made an urgent call for the Israeli state to lift the blockade on Gaza in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic. Gaza reported its first cases of the virus on 22nd March. Israeli officials were said to have allowed just 200 testing kits into the area by this time.

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) says that 95% of the population in Gaza lack direct access to clean water and the hospitals and clinics lack 42% of essential drugs and medinines.

“Health officials warn that if the virus enters Gaza, containment and treatment under the Israeli blockade will be nearly impossible.”

The organisation is petitioning the US Congress to demand that Israel lift the blockade.
 

JVP is also asking consumers to email the CEOs of companies named by the UN, requesting that they end all activity in occupied Palestinian territories. War On Want is also asking UK residents to email their MPs, requesting a ban on settlement trade and the introduction of binding regulations for companies to uphold human rights.

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