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Monday, 21 June 2021

International companies consider ending operations in West Bank settlement

As production and operation in Israeli settlements becomes increasingly contentious, international businesses are moving out of originally Palestinian areas

Saleh Naami in Gaza, Wednesday 22 Dec 2010
Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank (Photo: AP)

A number of international companies are now considering closing down their branches in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, in what seems to be the growing momentum of the boycott movement. "Some of these companies were closed due to pressure exerted by the EU," said Israeli newspaper Maariv on Wednesday.

The newspaper noted that Mul-T-Lock, a locks manufacturer, was the first to shut its branches in Israeli settlements, as a result of a boycott on its settlement-produced goods.

The paper added that the major Swiss company, Assa Abloy, which owns Mul-T-Lock, decided to move its plant from the settlement of Brochin to inside Israel proper.

The move was decided after Swiss human rights organizations and churches issued a strongly worded report to the company's administration and representatives, raising the possibility of taking legal action against them for breaking international law.

According to the Israeli paper, more foreign companies like Mul-T-Lock are expected to follow suit, with food producer "Piegel Piegel" already planning to shut down its branches in West Bank settlements.

Some political commentators, who recently discussed the issue on Israeli radio, said they did not rule out that some Israeli companies may also have toclose shop in settlements, fearing economic losses from boycotts. Jewish website Central Issues named several of these companies, which include hi-tech company Tadiran, Africa Israel Investment Ltd, Allot Communications, and Amit Pollak Matalon& Co.

These commentators also point out that this scenario is quite worrisome, not just for the private sector but also for the highest political levels in the Zionist state.

The Israeli media revealed Monday that the government is seriously concerned about prospects of the Palestinian Authority persuading the international community to boycott settlement products.

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