02/13/2020, 09.58
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The UN publishes a blacklist of companies supporting colonies

The list includes 112 entities including Airbnb, Bookoing, Expedia Group and Motorola Solutions. The accusations include the supply of equipment for the expansion of settlements, the demolition of Palestinian properties and financing. Israel threatens boycotts. Palestinian satisfaction. UN: controversial issue.


Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - From Airbnb to Bookoing, from Expedia Group to Motorola Solutions, these are just some of the 112 companies - some of them among the giants of e-commerce - which according to the United Nations carry out illegal activities in the Israeli colonies in West Bank. The list is contained in a report presented yesterday by Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Ohchr), and has already raised the harsh condemnation of the Israeli government, while Palestinians speak of "victory for international law".

The UN body's report comes at a time of deep tension between Israel and Palestine, which has intensified in the last period following the publication of the so-called "Deal of the century" by US President Donald Trump. A peace plan that created further tension leading to Palestinian attacks on Israelis and the harsh response of the Israeli army.

The study published yesterday started in 2016 on the initiative of the UN Human Rights Council, which gave a mandate to the OHCHR to provide a database of companies involved in specific activities related to the settlements. This includes: supply of equipment and materials that facilitate the expansion of settlements and the barrier in the West Bank; supply of equipment for the demolition of Palestinian private properties and homes, farms, greenhouses, olive groves, crops; supply of tools and services for the maintenance of the settlements; banking and financial operations that help maintain or develop settlements, including construction loans.

 Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu warned that "those who boycott will be boycotted" referring to the blacklist of companies. "Instead of dealing with human rights - he added - the commission only tries to denigrate Israel". This is echoed by Foreign Minister Israel Katz, who stamps the document as a "shameful surrender to pressure from countries and organizations", as well as a "stain" on the OHCHR. Criticism also from opposition leader Benny Gantz (Blue White coalition), according to which the publication is "a dark day for human rights".

The reaction on the Palestinian side is, of course, different. The PA's foreign minister speaks of "the victory of international rights and diplomatic efforts to drain the resources of the colonial system" which is represented by "illegal settlements in the Palestinian territories". Controversy and clashes held in account by the UN, as confirmed by Michelle Bachelet who says she is aware that "the issue is and will continue to be controversial".

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