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UN Warns 150 Companies for Doing Business in ‘Israeli’ Settlements

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The UN's Human Rights Commissioner, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, began sending letters two weeks ago to 150 companies in the ‘Israeli'-occupied Palestinian territories and around the world, warning them that they are about to be added to a database of companies doing business in illegal ‘Israeli' settlements in the occupied West Bank and in East al-Quds, senior ‘Israeli' officials and Western diplomats involved in the matter told Haaretz.

Israel

The Zionist official, who requested to stay anonymous due to the sensitivity of the issue, noted that the letters, sent by Al Hussein, said these firms were doing business in the "occupied Palestinian territories" and could thus find themselves on the UN blacklist for companies acting in violation of "internal law and UN decisions."

The letters, copies of which also reached the ‘Israeli' occupation government, request that these firms send the commission clarifications about their business activities in the settlements.

A Western diplomat, who also requested to remain anonymous, noted that of the 150 companies, some 30 were American, and a number are from countries including Germany, South Korea and Norway. The remaining half are ‘Israeli' companies.

Relatively, the Washington Post reported in August that among the American companies that received letters were Caterpillar, Priceline.com, TripAdvisor and Airbnb. According to the same report, the Trump administration is trying to work with the UN Commission on Human Rights to prevent the list's publication.

Senior ‘Israeli' officials said the ‘Israeli' fear of divestment or scaled-down business due to the blacklist is already becoming a reality. They said that the Economy Ministry's Office of Strategic Affairs has already received information that a number of companies who received the letters have responded to the human rights commissioner by saying they do not intend to renew contracts or sign new ones in ‘Israel.'

As part of an attempt to minimize its potential damage, the ‘Israeli' regime is attempting to reach out and hold talks with the foreign companies named on the list, stressing that it is non-binding and insignificant.

In March 2017, the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva voted for the resolution being pushed by the Palestinian Authority and Arab nations, according to which the commission would formulate a database of ‘Israeli' and international firms directly or indirectly doing business in the occupied West Bank, East al-Quds or the Golan Heights.

The decision passed despite massive pressure by the US to soften the resolution's wording. Even an attempt by the EU to reach a deal with the Palestinians to drop the clause from the resolution stipulating the blacklist's formulation, in return for the support of European nations for the rest of its articles, failed.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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