Human Rights Watch on Tuesday called on Israeli and international businesses to withdraw from Jewish-only settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, saying they "contribute to and benefit from" Israeli violations.
The international rights group said in a statement that Israel's violations of Palestinian rights -- as well as international humanitarian law -- were "intrinsic to abusive, harmful, and longstanding policies in the West Bank."
The sole way for businesses to avoid contributing to this violation of international law would be to completely withdraw their business activity from the occupied Palestinian territory, HRW said.
The statement was issued following the release of a 162-page report on Israeli and international businesses operating in the occupied Palestinian territory, entitled Occupation Inc.
Studies conducted for the report said settlement businesses contributed to rights violations through the labor abuse of Palestinians, development of Israeli Jewish-only infrastructure in the occupied territory, as well as the confiscation and restriction of Palestinian land.
PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said in response to the report that the findings countered statements made by Israeli leadership that settlement businesses “contributed” to the Palestinian economy.
In a statement, Erekat praised the report, but expressed disappointment that it fell short by "failing to call for a complete ban on trade with Israeli settlements." more