Israel Attacks ‘Shameful’ U.N. Report on Companies Active in Yehudah and Shomron

(Reuters/AP) -
General view of the community of Ariel in the Shomron. (Flash90)

Israel denounced on Wednesday a long-delayed U.N. report listing companies with business ties to Jewish communities in Yehudah and Shomron.

“The announcement by the U.N. Human Rights Office of the publication of a ‘blacklist’ of businesses is shameful capitulation to pressure from countries and organizations that are interesting in hurting Israel,” Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said in a statement.

The United Nations human rights office said it had identified 112 business entities which it has reasonable grounds to conclude have ties with Israeli communities – 94 domiciled in Israel and 18 in six other states.

The list is dominated by Israeli companies, including banks and construction firms. But it also lists a number of international firms, including travel companies Airbnb, Expedia and TripAdvisor, tech giant Motorola and construction and infrastructure companies including France’s Egis Rail and British company JC Bamford Excavators.

“While the settlements as such are regarded as illegal under international law, this report does not provide a legal characterization of the activities in question, or of business enterprises’ involvement in them,” the office of U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said.

Israel has in the past condemned what it called the looming U.N. “blacklist.”

The rights council, which is made up of 47 governments, had never before requested such a list scrutinizing corporate activities.

The release of the report — a politically fraught document that could cast a shadow over firms doing business in Palestinian areas — has been repeatedly delayed.