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Palestinian ministry urges ending license of firms involved in Israeli settlements

A general view shows construction work at Ramat Shlomo, an Israeli settlement in occupied East al-Quds, January 5, 2022. (File photo by AFP)

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has urged proper action by the international community to withdraw the licenses of companies and corporations that support Israeli settlements.

In a statement released on Monday, the ministry called on governments to ensure that institutions under their jurisdiction have no involvement in investing in the settlements.

“It was following with great concern the hostile activities of a number of pro-settlement organizations registered as non-profit associations and organizations in a number of foreign countries, which carry out their activities in promoting and expanding settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories,” the ministry said.

"These associations work through a wide network to collect donations for the benefit of the settlements, either to build more new settlement units, build infrastructure and streets for settlements, plant large areas of those lands, or plant fruitful trees for the benefit of the settlers."

The ministry said it will “start legal follow-up and accountability for their crimes at all levels, including submitting reports to the United Nations and its bodies and councils, especially the Human Rights Council.”

In September 2021, a civil society report said over 670 European financial institutions had ties with companies involved in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. The report from a group of 25 Palestinian, regional and European organizations called on the companies "to end all investments and financial flows" into the settlements. In November, UN experts condemned Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East al-Quds as “the engine of the occupation.”

Michael Lynk and Balakrishnan Rajagopal, the UN special rapporteurs on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory and on adequate housing, have denounced Israel’s plan to build thousands of new settler units.

“The illegality of the Israeli settlements is one of the most widely-accepted issues in modern international law,” they said in a statement. “As well, the Israeli settlements are a presumptive war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and should be treated as such by the international community.”

Much of the international community considers Israeli settlement construction illegal under international law.

Nearly 700,000 Israelis live in illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

The UN Security Council has in several resolutions condemned the Tel Aviv regime’s settlement projects in the occupied Palestinian lands.

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