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US corporate foundations funding Israeli settlements in occupied territories: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this file picture, men work on a new housing project in the West Bank settlement of Modi'in ilit on January 1, 2019. (Photo by AP)

A number of US corporate foundations have reportedly given tens of thousands of dollars to several non-profits to fund settlement projects in the occupied West Bank as the Israeli regime presses ahead with its land expropriation policies in the occupied territories, irrespective of international outcry.

According to a report published by the monthly magazine, In These Times, Verizon Wireless telecommunications company, Pfizer pharmaceutical corporation, the Bank of America, American Express company, and financial services firm JPMorgan Chase, in addition to Deutsche Bank AG, a German multinational investment bank, have collectively donated over $25,000 to American non-profit organizations, which raise and send money to Israeli officials in charge of expanding settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The magazine, citing tax records from 2001 to 2016, further revealed that a large network of US non-profits collects millions of dollars annually for Israeli settlements.

The report added that the famous US corporate foundations have also collectively given over $48,000 to the so-called “Friends of the Israel Defense Forces” NGO, which claims to have sent the money to Israeli military bases to be spent on various enrichment activities.

Earlier this month, Ir Amim, an Israeli NGO opposing Tel Aviv’s settlement expansion activities, published a new map that illustrated an “accelerated, intensifying chain of new facts on the ground in the most historically contested and politically sensitive part of Jerusalem [al-Quds]: the Old City and adjacent ring of Palestinian neighborhoods,” which help reinforcement of settlement plans.

The NGO pointed to a number of Israeli-sponsored settlement campaigns inside Palestinian neighborhoods, including “settler initiated evictions of Palestinians, takeovers of their homes, and the expansion of settler compounds,” in addition to the use of the so-called “touristic settlement sites” as “key points” contributing to the campaigns.

Ir Amim said the supposed tourism and archaeology projects “assume a central role in Israeli settlement policy.”

About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

Less than a month before US President Donald Trump took office, the United Nations Security Council in December 2016 adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories.

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