European business on occupied territory

Foto: Ted Swedenburg via Flickr

European business on occupied territory

New research supported by ActionAid Denmark finds that Europe's largest pension funds are heavily invested in illegal Israeli settlements.

European investors have billions of euro invested in companies with activities in and around illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, according to a new investigation from independent media research center Danwatch that screened the investment portfolios of Europe's top five pension fund managers.

This in spite of the fact that 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016) recently reaffirmed that the Israeli confiscation of Palestinian land for (residential or industrial) settlements has "no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace".

"This is about much more than investors failing to live up to their own investment policies and responsibilities under international humanitarian law and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. It's about real people. About children and adults who are being forced off their land and their homes by an occupying power. European pension funds and companies have a huge responsibility to address their linkages to the illegal settlements and the human rights violations caused by the Israeli occupation - and a key role to play in promoting a just and peaceful solution for all. It makes me hopeful that more and more investors - like KLP, PFA Pension and Nordea - are waking up to this fact and are beginning to make a real difference," says Tim Whyte, Secretary General, ActionAid Denmark.


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