Published: 2018-02-03 15:32
Last Updated: 2018-02-03 15:47
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a new report identifying 206 international companies who have business linked to the Israeli settlements built in the Occupied West Bank.
The report was initially intended to include the names of the companies; however, intense pressure from the US and Israel resulted in including only the number of the companies without their names, Ma’an news agency reported.
"Businesses play a central role in furthering the establishment, maintenance and expansion of Israeli settlements," the UN report said.
"In doing so, they are contributing to Israel's confiscation of land, facilitate the transfer of its population into the Occupied Palestinian Territory and are involved in the exploitation of Palestine's natural resources.”
"The majority of these companies are domiciled in Israel or the settlements (143), with the second largest group located in the United States (22). The remainder are domiciled in 19 other countries," the UN human rights office said in a statement.
The UN said the database was not complete yet.
Danny Danon, the Israeli envoy to the UN who himself lives in an illegal settlement, condemned the report strongly, calling it shameful and “disgraceful blacklist”.
Israel established more than 200 settlements in the period between 1967 to 2016 in the Occupied West Bank itself (including East Jerusalem), according to B'Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights.
The Israeli Ministry of the Interior officially recognized 127 settlements, while about 100 settlements built without official authorization but with governmental support and assistance.
Settlements affect Palestinians daily lives through the checkpoints that limit Palestinians movement and erected based on where there are settlements. Palestinians are also denied access to farmland near settlements, and the route of the Separation Barrier was placed inside the West Bank so as to leave as many settlements as possible to the west of it.