Thursday, 27 October 2011

Alstom loses $10 billion contract in victory for boycott campaign against companies aiding Israel


The BDS National Committee (BNC) has declared a long sought-after victory as Alstom lost the bid for the second phase of the Saudi Haramain Railway project, worth $10 billion US dollars, after pressure from the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, including effective campaigning from the newly launched KARAMA, a European campaign to Keep Alstom Rail And Metro Away.

In 2008 the BNC, the largest Palestinian civil society coalition, with partners in Europe and Israel, launched the Derail Veolia and Alstom campaign, due to the two companies’ involvement in Israel’s illegal Jerusalem Light Rail (JLR) project, which explicitly aims to “Judaize Jerusalem,” according to official Israeli statements, by cementing Israel’s hold on the illegal colonial settlements built on occupied Palestinian land in and around Jerusalem. Since then, Veolia has lost more than $12B worth of contracts following boycott activism in Sweden, the UK, Ireland and elsewhere. Alstom, too, suffered substantial blows when the Swedish national pension fund AP7 excluded it from its investment portfolio, after having been excluded from the Dutch ASN Bank due to the company’s involvement in Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, and has recently announced its intention to withdraw from the project. more

Four airstrikes hit central and southern Gaza, no injuries reported


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli war planes launched four airstrikes in central and southern Gaza early Thursday morning, witnesses and the army said.

No injuries were reported.

Locals told Ma'an that Israeli fighter jets shelled three open areas and a site used by Hamas' armed wing the al-Qassam Brigades in Khan Younis in the south and Deir al-Balah in central Gaza.

The Israeli army said its forces targeted "three terror activity sites" in central Gaza and a weapons storage facility in the southern Gaza Strip.

"Direct hits were confirmed," the military said in a statement.

The army said the strikes were in response to a grad rocket which landed near the city of Ashdod in southern Israel on Wednesday. An Israeli military spokeswoman said Wednesday that the rocket had caused no injury or damage. more