The United Nations human rights office has issued a highly-anticipated database of companies it said has business ties to illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, a move likely to draw anger from Israel and their main ally, the United States.
In a statement on Wednesday, the UN body said it identified 112 businesses which it has reasonable grounds to conclude have ties with Israeli settlements – 94 in Israel and 18 in six other countries.
Among some of the companies listed are Airbnb, Expedia, TripAdvisor, tech giant Motorola and consumer food maker General Mills and identified businesses listed in the US, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Thailand and the United Kingdom.
In its report, the UN office said the companies’ activities “raised particular human rights concerns”.
The current High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, acknowledged in the statement that the list will be highly contentious.
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, Bachelet said.
Dr Mustafa Barghouthi, General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, has welcomed the UN’s move to publish the “blacklist of companies” with ties to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territories.
In a statement to Palestine Monitor, Dr Barghouti said that the international community and Palestinians have been waiting for this publishing for a long time.
The list includes names of companies who violated and continue to violate International Law although they have been warned about the consequences of such violations, he stated.
These companies should be subjected to accountability including boycott and divestment for their grave violations, Barghouti added.
Source: Palestine Monitor