Taxpayer Cash Survey on Money Donated to Businesses Linked to Illegal Israeli Settlements
The Scottish government is investigating whether public money has been turned over to companies with links to “illegal” Israeli settlements in Palestine.
The UN human rights office released a report last year naming 112 companies it said were linked to construction programs in the occupied West Bank.
The blacklist includes Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia Group, and Motorola Solutions.
Palestinians hailed the report as a “victory for international law”, but Israel responded with fury, calling it “shameful.”
And now steps are being taken to verify Scotland’s links with these companies.
Business Minister Ivan McKee said he would investigate whether any of them received public funds or support in Scotland and then write to anyone identified to demand an update on their operations in Palestine.
The pledge came in response to a parliamentary question from Greens MP Ross Greer.
He asked the Scottish government if it would prevent companies identified by the UN from gaining support.
McKee replied, “I have asked officials to write to the CEOs of the relevant government agencies to remind them of the policy directions, to inform them of this UN list and to ask them to provide information to officials on the relationships that they talk to companies about it. listing.
“Following this, I will write to all of the companies so identified to request an update on their activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and what they are doing to end these specific activities – as identified by the mission. independent fact-finding international body, which provided the basis for their inclusion in this list.
About 600,000 people live in 140 settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. The settlements are considered illegal under international law, although Israel has consistently contested this.
The Palestinians have long called for the removal of settlements, arguing that they are contesting their claim for an independent state.
Scottish Greens external affairs spokesperson Greer said: “Scotland’s commitment to upholding and upholding human rights must be demonstrated by action, not just talk.
“This is especially true where there is a blatant violation of international law, such as the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and the endemic abuse of the Palestinian people by illegal settlers.
“It has now been made clear to Scottish public bodies that they should not be complicit in this illegal occupation.
“We must defend the fundamental rights of all the Palestinian people. “
The UN report came after four years of work and listed companies supplying equipment and materials or providing services such as banking facilities that were helping in the demolition of Palestinian properties or the construction of new settlements.
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Of the listed entities, 94 are domiciled in Israel and 18 in six other states – the United States, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Thailand and the United Kingdom.
At the time, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said: “The publication of the list of companies and parties operating in the settlements is a victory for international law.