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The Implications of Business Enterprises' Support for Settlement Activities on the Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Introduction

Israeli settlements are the main pillars of Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid, which represent a serious violation of international law, and are inconsistent with the provisions of the Rome Statute, including the prohibition of population transfer, annexation and apartheid. Over the past decades, the Israeli occupation forces have continued to build and expand settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. They have engaged in commercial and industrial activities in these settlements and attracted foreign institutions and companies to work in Israeli settlements established in the occupied territories, which has significantly undermined the international efforts calling for peace through the achievement of a permanent settlement between the two countries, and at the same time, it led to a set of widespread human rights violations of the rights of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the occupied East Jerusalem as a result of the construction of such settlements.

In this context, settlement activities carried out by companies and businesses in the occupied Palestinian territories for the benefit of Israel have destroyed Palestinian property and forcibly displaced thousands of Palestinian civilians over the past decades. This has also subjected Palestinians in the West Bank to systematic attacks by the Israeli settlers that affected their lifestyle and property. Despite Israel's commitment, under international law, to protect Palestinians and their property, ensure accountability for crimes against Palestinians, and provide fair remedies for the violations they face, the settlement activities continue to undermine the Palestinian people's right to self-determination through the establishment of a viable state, in addition to the fact that it established at the same time the policies of apartheid and unfair discrimination in the territory of the settlements between the Israelis and the Palestinians themselves, and negatively affected the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories of their right to freedom of movement, freedom of expression and opinion, and freedom religion and belief, peaceful assembly, and access to water.

Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights is deeply concerned about the negative repercussions resulting from the continuation of private companies and Israeli and international business establishments in supporting settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the occupied Palestinian territory. Maat, therefore, believes that it is of utmost importance for businesses and private companies to assess the impact of their activities on human rights and take all necessary steps to end their business interests in settlements, so that these activities do not have a detrimental impact on the human rights of the Palestinian people, in accordance with the international law and guidelines on business and human rights.

 

 

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