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Human Rights Watch: Don’t do business with Israeli settlements

Jan. 19, 2016, midnight

Ambassador Hassassian welcomes the Human Rights Watch report published this week on settlement businesses and how they contribute to Israel’s violation of Palestinian rights.

The report gives three sets of recommendations. They include advocating that businesses operating in settlements or doing business with them desist activities in these illegal colonial outposts. Israel is urged to fulfil its obligations as an occupying power and dismantle settlements including industrial zones. Finally, the report advocates that third-party states, such as the UK, should refuse to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Palestinian territories by guaranteeing that settlement goods are accurately labelled and ensure that guidance on businesses, operating in the context of military occupation in Palestine, is implemented.

The Ambassador welcomed the central message of the report but found that it disappointingly fell short of advocating a complete ban on settlement goods and business services. He urges the UK government to take more proactive steps in enforcing existing business guidance which discourages doing business with or in illegal Israeli settlements.

We also press the UK government to enforce international law in relation to illegal settlements and advocate a complete ban on settlement goods. Doing otherwise makes the government guilty of complicity with the occupation that continues to appropriate Palestinian land and violate Palestinian rights.

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