United Nations: Boycott International companies that benefit from Israeli settlements
The Human Rights Council’s special rapporteur, Richard Falk, urged the international community to boycott 13 companies benefiting from business with Israeli settlements, the United Nations reported on its website on Thursday.
“Businesses should not breach international humanitarian law provisions,” Falk said in a statement during the U.N. General Assembly aimed at discussing international issues concerning the Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories.
“They might otherwise be subject to criminal or civil liability, which could extend to individual employees,” he warned.
The rapporteur named the companies, Caterpillar Incorporated, Veolia Environment, G4Sm, The Dexia Group, Ahava, the Volvo Group, Riwal Holding Group, Elbit Systems, Hewlett Packard, Mehadrin, Motorola, Assa Abloy and Cemex, as violating human rights for their linked business with Israeli settlements.
“The scale of Israel’s settlement enterprise, especially the massive financial investment in it, appears to confirm Israel’s intention to retain control over much, if not all, of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”
These companies according to Falk have “to implement its international human rights and humanitarian law obligations and certify that private business conducting operation in Palestine were accountable for any activities that may affect Palestinians’ rights.”
Falk, who blamed Israel for not making any efforts in cooperating with his humanitarian goals in Palestinian territories, said that Israeli settlements have control over 40 percent of the West Bank.
In his report, he said that around 600,000 Israeli citizens had already transferred in Palestinian territories and that an estimate of 200,000 had settled in East Jerusalem.
A record of 15,000 people made up the “settler population” in 2011, he added.
The Israeli settlements-linked businesses may have been put-up in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, he said, urging an advice from the International Court of Justice.
Falk, assigned on the current situation of human rights in Palestine, said that unless these profiteers brought their business operations in line with international human rights and humanitarian law should be reprimanded and forced to take necessary actions.
The Fourth Geneva Convention is a treaty signed to protect the rights of civilians in war zone countries and areas.