Norway wealth fund bans investing in 2 Israeli firms
The world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund in Norway has put two Israeli firms on its blacklist over their contribution to the construction of illegal settlements in the occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Norway’s Finance Ministry announced the decision on Thursday and named the companies as Africa Israel Investments, an Israeli real estate developer, and its construction subsidiary, Danya Cerbus.
The huge sovereign wealth fund deplored the firms for “contributing to serious violation of individual rights through construction of settlements” in the occupied East al-Quds.
The move is a renewal of a three-year ban on investing in these firms that was repealed by Government Pension Fund of Norway in August last year.
The announcement comes several weeks after one of the Netherlands’ largest pension asset managers said it was divesting from five Israeli banks because they finance illegal settlements.
In December, Romania barred its citizens from working for Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The Israeli regime’s settlements and their expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories are illegal under international law.
Recently, the European Union asked Tel Aviv not to announce new settlement constructions, warning that the settlements’ expansion poses an acute threat to the progress of the so-called peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
EU member countries usually condemn Israel whenever its regime announces new buildings in and around settlements; but, the condemnation is merely a political gesturing, which the occupying regime never pays attention to.
Over half a million Israelis live in more than 120 settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.
The United Nations and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are thus subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.