Amazon Accused of Discriminating Against Palestinian Territories

(AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

Amazon is facing criticism for offering a delivery service that discriminates against customers living in Palestinian communities.

Whereas the company will deliver merchandise free of charge to addresses in Yehudah and Shomron, that only applies to customers who click on “Israel” as their country. But a customer who designates “Palestinian Territories” as their residence have to pay $24 or more for shipping, according to a report by the Financial Times.

Peace Now denounced Amazon for contributing “to the overall picture of one group of people enjoying the privileges of citizenship while another people living in the same territory do not.”

Israeli international rights lawyer Michael Sfard told the FT that the Amazon policy is “blatant discrimination between potential customers on the basis of their nationality” within the same area.

Nick Caplin, an Amazon spokesman, explained to the Middle East Eye that deliveries to the Palestinian Territories must go through additional customs and inspections by Israeli authorities before they are passed on to a local delivery operator for the Palestinians, and consequently costs more.

However, he told FT that “if a customer within the Palestinian Territories enters their address and selects Israel as the country, they can receive free shipping through the same promotion” on orders over $49.