Ethical Performance
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Firms urged to end links with Israeli ‘war crimes’ as G4S is accused of ‘complicity’

March 2013

Companies with business interests with Israel on occupied Palestinian land have been urged to terminate their activities there by a UN human rights fact-finding mission.

Describing the transfer of Israeli populations into the West Bank and the establishment of Jewish settlements there as potential “war crimes”, the mission’s three-strong panel also called on member states to pressurise Israel’s suppliers based in their own countries to respect Palestinian rights.

In their study report, the panel recommends that the Human Rights Council Working Group on Business & Human Rights takes over work on the issue.

The panel concluded that the Palestinians’ right to self-determination “is clearly being violated by Israel through the existence and ongoing expansion of the settlements. The transfer of Israeli citizens into the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), prohibited under international humanitarian law and international criminal law, is a central feature of Israel’s practices and policies.”

In addition to restrictions on movement, expression and access to water, as well as “violence, verbal and physical abuses, inhumane and degrading treatments, forced evictions, land and property grabbing, destruction of property and housing”, the panel said Palestinians in the OPT “suffer discriminatory application of a military court system that does not comply with international standards of fair trial and administration of justice”.

As if to illustrate the point, in a separate move, War on Want called on UK-based security company G4S to end all involvement with the Israeli Prison Authority after Palestinian Arafat Jadarat, 30, died after being tortured in custody.

War on Want senior campaigner Rafeef Ziadah said: “G4S provides equipment and services to Israeli prisons where Palestinian political prisoners, including children, are detained and tortured.

“[G4S] is profiting from human rights abuses. The terrible death of Arafat Jaradat highlights the urgent need for G4S to end its complicity in Israel’s prison system.”

United Nations | Asia | Human rights

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