Companies must investigate supply chains and boycott businesses complicit in illegal Israeli settlements

London—The list of 112 companies that do business in illegal Israeli settlements—released this week by a high U.N. official—should become a guide to who to blacklist, says ImpACT International for Human Rights Policies.

What follows now should be practical measures to act on these findings

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) issued the list in compliance with a 2016 mandate from the U.N. Human Rights Council. The roster lists 112 businesses for which there are “reasonable grounds” to conclude they have ties with Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. Among them are such global powerhouses as Airbnb and Expedia.

"What follows now should be practical measures to act on these findings,” says the London-based think tank. “The next meeting of the Human Rights Council is on February 24, and member states now move to encourage suspension of trade with these ‘blacklisted’ companies.”

ImpACT International also calls on the Human Rights Council (HRC) to reach out to blacklisted companies to educate them on their violations and urge them to voluntarily terminate their illegal settlement activities.

Businesses in settlements illegally occupying Palestinian land are incentivized with preferable land allocations, generous natural-resource access, state-funded infrastructure improvements and tax breaks. According to the World Bank, the resulting restrictions on business development and construction in Area C, which constitutes almost 60% of the West Bank, cost the Palestinian economy about $ 3.4 billion per year. That’s equivalent to about a third of the Palestinian gross domestic product.

The Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits occupying powers from transferring members of their own civilian population into the territory they usurp. It also prohibits “individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations, of protected persons from occupied territory." Moreover, the Hague Regulations of 1907 prohibit occupying powers from expropriating resources, such as water and land, for its own benefit.

ImpACT International for Human Rights Policies calls on regional and international companies to revise their policies to mandate that no bussiness be awarded to enterprises that engage with Israeli settlements.

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