The UN has released a list of 112 companies with activities in Israeli settlements such as Maale Adumim in the occupied West Bank on the outskirts of Jerusalem. -AFP
The UN has released a list of 112 companies with activities in Israeli settlements, which are considered illegal under international law, including Airbnb, Expedia and TripAdvisor. The move was cheered by the Palestinians but slammed as "shameful" by Israel, where officials fear the list could be used to boycott firms with ties to the settlements.
The UN report comes in response to a 2016 UN Human Rights Council resolution calling for a "database for all businesses engaged in specific activities related to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory".
The UN rights office said that listing companies in the database was "not, and does not purport to be, a judicial or quasi-judicial process". Among the businesses on the list are a range of large international companies, including Airbnb, Alstom, Booking.com and Motorola Solutions.
"I am conscious this issue has been, and will continue to be, highly contentious," UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said.
But she added that the findings had been subject to an "extensive and meticulous review process" and the report "reflects the serious consideration that has been given to this unprecedented and highly complex mandate".
Israel, which routinely accuses the UN and especially the Human Rights Council of bias against it was quick to slam Wednesday's publication. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted at retaliation. "Whoever boycotts us will be boycotted," a statement from his office quoted him as saying.
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