Airbnb complicit in 'plunder of Palestinian refugee properties
A recent update by Who Profits has divulged Airbnb’s largely overlooked complicity in the plunder of Palestinian refugee properties that were occupied by Israel in 1948.
Scrutinizing the Old City of Yafa, the report underscored the ways in which Israel grabbed and controlled Palestinian properties, leading to their privatization.
“Israel has transformed properties into economic assets that benefit both the state and private actors, thus undermining Palestinians’ legally enshrined Right of Return”, the update read.
Who Profits said that Airbnb has played a role in propping up Israel’s grip over Palestinian refugee properties by showcasing the homes that once belonged to Palestinians.
As the report shows, “in serving as a platform for these properties, as well as those in settlements in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, Airbnb is profiting from the ongoing dispossession of Palestinians.”
At the same time, the report tackled in detail the reversal of Airbnb’s decision to suspend the listing of properties in West Bank settlements.
“During the Nakba in 1948, more than 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their land and properties. Since then, the Israeli state has sought to appropriate Palestinian property through legal mechanisms that formalize their confiscation and turn them into economic assets”, warned Who Profits.
The research center said such policies hinder the Palestinian Right of Return and the recovery of properties by their rightful owners.
“Since the Nakba, the confiscation of the lands and assets of Palestinian refugees and Internally Displaced Persons has benefited private individuals and corporations, as well as the Israeli state”, the report went on.
It said the fact that, immediately after the Nakba, Palestinian lands and properties were expropriated by Israel represents a gross violation of Regulation 46 of the Hague Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War (1907), which clearly prohibits the confiscation of private property.
Who Profits is an independent research center dedicated to exposing the commercial involvement of Israeli and international corporations in the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestinian and Syrian lands.
Who Profits was founded in 2007 as a project of the Coalition of Women for Peace, and became an independent Research Center in 2013. It sheds light on the role of the private sector in the Israeli settlement enterprise, in economic exploitation of Palestinian and Syrian land, labor and resources, and in the apparatus of control over the occupied population.