PA to Warn Firms with Settlement Links before Taking them to Court
The Palestinian Authority intends to send an official warning to companies operating in Israeli settlements before any judicial action, the first measure that the Palestinians would take after the United Nations published a list of 112 firms doing business with the settlements in the West Bank.
On Wednesday, the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) unveiled the names of international companies and factories that work in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
The list is dominated by Israeli companies, but includes a number of global brands.
The six US companies on the list are Motorola Solutions, General Mills, Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Booking Holdings and Expedia. The list includes four Dutch firms - Tahal Group International, Booking.com, Altice Europe and Kardan - and three British firms, in addition to two from France and Thailand.
Saeb Erekat, Secretary-General of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, said the Palestinian Authority (PA) will send letters to the countries of the companies having links with the settlements, asking them to shut down their operations in the West Bank.
"Companies in the United States will be addressed directly to close down their businesses because ties with the American administration have been severed," Erekat told reporters in Ramallah.
He added that the PA "will prosecute the companies in international courts and request financial compensation for using Palestinian resources and working in the settlements."
Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Dr. Ibrahim Khreisheh stated that the United Nations began with a potential list of 307 companies, but narrowed it down to 112 after some firms pledged not to renew their contracts in the settlements.
Palestinian Minister of Justice Mohammad Shalaldeh said that his ministry - in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates – is setting a plan on prosecuting the firms operating in the settlements as well as their workers who come from different nationalities.
In an interview with the Voice of Palestine radio, Shalaldeh demanded the UN to swiftly promote an international agreement that bans companies from backing the settlements.