Letter to Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, on UAE investments in Israeli settlements

Letter to Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, on  UAE investments in Israeli settlements

In a letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, ImpACT International for Human Rights Policies calls for action against the UAE’s investments in businesses operating in illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.

In the letter, ImpACT calls the commissioner’s attention to the consequences of the incentivisation of settlement enterprises, leading to the mass dispossession of Palestinian land and the people’s right to self-determination. Acceleration of the investments began after the signing of the Abraham Accords on September 15 by the governments of Israel, the UAE and Bahrain. The result will devastate Palestinian livelihoods.

The UAE investments include a joint Abraham fund for the upgrading of Israeli checkpoint equipment across the occupied West Bank. The UAE thus is directly participating in the abuse of Palestinians nationals at checkpoints, where they are subjected to humiliation and Israeli aggression.

The UAE investments serve no other purpose than to aid Israel in the expansion of its illegal settlements and the violation of Palestinian rights and independence. 

- Ottavia Ciani, a reseacher at ImpACT 

ImpACT International is alarmed by the rate of UAE investment in businesses within Israeli settlements since the government signed the Abraham Accords. The UAE investments serve no other purpose than to aid Israel in the expansion of its illegal settlements and the violation of Palestinian rights and independence, said Ottavia Ciani, a researcher at ImpACT. Therefore, it calls on the UAE government and the private sector to halt all trade with businesses that operate in or otherwise benefit illegal Israeli settlements.

Furthermore, when importing goods, the UAE does not distinguish between Israeli products coming from illegal Israeli settlements and the mainland. Settlement products include wine, tahini, olive oil and honey. In December, Dubai distribution company FAM Holding signed a deal with such companies to export products to the UAE.

ImpACT International appeals to Commissioner Bachelet to address the UAE’s blatant negligence of its duty to protect human rights in the course of business operations. Under the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, companies must respect human rights and evaluate the impact of their activities.

The ImpACT letter asks the commissioner to make it clear to the UAE that if states import Israeli products, these business operations must comply with international humanitarian law. States and businesses must not aid the expansion of the Israeli occupation.

ImpACT calls on Commissioner Bachelet to to end the unjust system that supports the daily deterioration of Palestinian rights.  

                                                     

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