UN Releases “Blacklist” of Companies Linked to Illegal Israeli Settlements

UN Releases “Blacklist” of Companies Linked to Illegal Israeli Settlements

The settlements are seen as illegal under international law.

The United Nations human rights office has issued a report on companies it said have business ties to illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, in a long-delayed move.

In a statement on Wednesday, the UN body said it identified 112 business entities which have ties with Israeli settlements - 94 domiciled in Israel and 18 in six other countries.

It identified companies listed in the US, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Thailand and the United Kingdom. Among these was the US-based home-sharing company, Airbnb.

In its report, the UN office said the companies' activities "raised particular human rights concerns".

"I am conscious this issue has been, and will continue to be, highly contentious," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said.

She added that the findings "reflect the serious consideration that has been given to this unprecedented and highly complex mandate".

Airbnb said in November 2018 that it would remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

But it said the following April that it would not implement the planned delisting and would donate proceeds from any bookings in the territory to international humanitarian aid organizations.

Other companies include travel sites Expedia and TripAdvisor, tech giant Motorola, consumer food maker General Mills and construction and infrastructure companies including France's Egis Rail and British company, JC Bamford Excavators.

The UN report comes in response to a 2016 UNHRC 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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