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Irish company severs business ties with Israel in favor of Palestinians

O'Leary believes CRH should help tear down such walls as the Israeli barrier in the occupied Palestinian territories instead of building them.

A large Irish company has cut its business ties with Israel over the Tel Aviv regime’s policies against Palestinians.

The building materials group, CRH, says it has divested its 25 percent stake in the Israeli cement market.

The company has long been under fire over its cooperation with the Israeli firm, Mashav, which supplied materials for the construction of the so-called ‘Separation Wall’ in the West Bank, as well as checkpoints and settlements.

CRH’s sale of its 25 percent stake in Israeli cement firm Mashav was revealed in a company market update published on January 7, which stated that the Israeli divestment was the largest of 13 such disposals completed during 2015.

CRH is one of Ireland’s largest multinationals, operating in more than 30 countries worldwide.

The Irish company had owned a stake in Mashav since 2001, the Israeli holding company for Nesher, a firm whose cement has been used to construct the wall also known among critics as Israel’s ‘Apartheid Wall.’

The wall’s presence in the occupied Palestinian territories has been condemned by the United Nations and International Court of Justice.

According to the Irish Independent, the divestment ends “a focus of major controversy for the Irish group”, with CRH having been “frequently targeted by pro-Palestinian activists at its AGMs, who pressed for the global building materials firm to sell the stake in the Israeli group.”

Those campaigners are now hailing what Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign chair Martin O’Quigley described as “an important victory for Palestinians whose lives and livelihoods have been destroyed by the unceasing construction of the Apartheid Wall, which steals Palestinian lands, divides communities, destroys the social fabric and makes normal life impossible.”

File photo of the controversial Israeli wall in the occupied Palestinian territories.

O’Quigley pointed out that CRH’s divestment is just the latest in a number of high-profile victories for the BDS campaign. “‘Brand Israel’, it seems, is becoming increasingly toxic.” He said, adding that it appears that “the international companies are eventually learning that it does not pay to do business with the Apartheid” regime.

The divestment by the CRH is considered a big victory for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign which has recently gained momentum across the globe.

Now Anna O’Leary, Ireland-based Journalist and Political Commentator, believes that “instead of building walls, CRH Building Group, an Irish building group, must ensure the walls are torn down.”

O’Leary also described the company’s move to cut its business relations with Israel as “highly significant” since the regime “does not observe human rights.”

The political commentator told Press TV in a Sunday interview that the BDS showed the Irish firm that “trading with ‘Brand Israel’ is not smart.”

Palestinians hope that the BDS movement will drive Tel Aviv further into isolation over its ongoing aggression and occupation of their territories.

Palestinians have long been protesting against the barrier set up by the Tel Aviv regime in the occupied West Bank.

Last November, Israeli officials announced plans to construct another separation barrier between an Israeli settlement and the Palestinian city of al-Khalil (Hebron) in the occupied West Bank. Tel Aviv said it wanted to prevent Palestinians from infiltrating into the Israeli settlement but Palestinians consider the move as yet another violation of their rights.

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