Thursday, 10 March 2011

Victory for boycott movement as Triodos bank removes Dexia from investments because of settlement financing

Statement below from Dutch bank Triodos, explaining why Belgian Bank Dexia is being withdrawn from its universe of investable stocks because of its role in financing settlements in Palestine.
08-03-2011 | Belgian bank Dexia has been excluded from the Triodos sustainable investment universe because of its ongoing financing of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Dexia in Israel

Dexia Israel Bank (DIB), a subsidiary of Dexia, has financed Israeli settlements in the past. In response to shareholder and stakeholder pressure, DIB stopped new loans to Israeli settlements in June 2008. There are also indications that current loans are being withdrawn, although the longest maturity loan in the portfolio will not end until 2017. DIB’s actions have caused uproar in Israel and a regional council major in southern Israel called for a DIB boycott.

Despite the freeze on new loans and withdrawal by DIB, the bank still has loans outstanding to the Municipality of Jerusalem. Jerusalem lies at the heart of the occupied territories and since 1967 East Jerusalem has been under Israeli government rule. Settlements have been established for Jewish Israeli occupants only and settlers receive substantial financial benefits, as well as access to land and natural resources in the disputed territory. By financing the municipality, DIB loans are potentially being used to finance human rights abuses against Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

Dexia is aware of its potential involvement in violating United Nations (UN) resolutions and Triodos has had extensive dialogue with the company on the issue, but to date it has not expressed its intention to withdraw or earmark its finance activities to the Municipality of Jerusalem. Nor has it indicated any intention to otherwise ensure that DIB financing does not contribute to violations of human rights in the disputed territories. For these reasons, Dexia has been excluded from the Triodos sustainable investment universe.

Occupation evicting Jerusalem family and raids Baarta village to issue demolition notices

The so-called evacuation department in Jerusalem approved Thursday the demolition of parts of a home belonged to a Palestinian family in the area of Ras El-Amoud, eastern the city to make way for Israelis. more

The village of Baarta near Jenin was attacked by the IDF last night and eight Palestinians were given notices demanding the demolition of their homes. Palestinians who refuse to demolish their own homes are later billed by the occupation after the destruction has been carried out.

Hamas reshuffles Gaza government as pressure for unity builds

Hamas government being reorganised as talks with Egypt get under way. Palestinian youth groups are threatening to hold demonstrations demanding unity if Fatah and Hamas fail to reconcile their differences. This is the first reshuffle of the government since Hamas came to power in 2007.
Hamas officials in Gaza announced Thursday the formation of a new government headed by the party's leader Ismail Haniyeh.

The new government is an expanded form of the last, made up entirely of Hamas members. Many also hold positions at the Islamic University in Gaza. more