UN releases list of companies with ties to illegal Israeli settlements

Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, JCB, Opodo, TripAdvisor and Motorola among 112 firms named by the Human Rights Council

Ofra settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, with Palestinian village of Baytin in the background, 17 November 2016

Areeb Ullah reports in Middle East Eye:

The UN Human Rights Council (OHCHR) has released a long-anticipated list of companies that operate in illegal Israeli settlements.

More than 100 companies are listed in the document, including 18 international companies, who are working in settlements across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.  International companies placed 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 list was conducted “after an extensive and meticulous review process”.

“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.”

The report also noted that 60 companies had been taken off a previous list compiled by the OHCHR.

The list came after the Human Rights Council passed resolution 31/36 in 2016 and requested information on companies “involved in certain specified activities related to the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory”.  Former UN High Commissioner Zeid Raad al-Hussein also confirmed that the companies listed came from information that was publicly available and from a variety of sources.

Companies listed, according to the rights council, have facilitated the construction of settlements, supplied surveillance equipment for them, or provided security services to enterprises operating there.

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