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Hundreds of Israelis urge publication of UN settlement database

Constructions of the Israeli settlement Ramot continues on Palestinian lands in Jerusalem, on 22 November 2017 [Mahmoud Ibrahim/Anadolu Agency]
Constructions of the Israeli settlement continues on Palestinian lands on 22 November 2017 [Mahmoud Ibrahim/Anadolu Agency]

More than 400 Israelis, “including a former attorney general, retired diplomats, ex-members of Knesset, and prominent intellectuals”, have signed a petition urging the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to publish a list of companies involved with West Bank settlements.

According to Israeli news site +972 Magazine, the signatories include former attorney general Michael Ben-Yair, former director-general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry Alon Liel, former Israeli ambassador to South Africa Ilan Baruch, and eight recipients of the Israel Prize.

Israel and the US have been applying significant pressure on the UN not to publish the database, as mandated by a UNHRC resolution adopted in March 2016. The new petition urges the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to “not relent” in the face of such pressure.

The petition refers to UN Security Council Resolution 2332, adopted in December 2016, which called on the international community “to distinguish in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967”.

Read: Human Rights Watch urges UN to publish list of Israeli settlement-linked companies

“As loyal citizens of Israel,” the petition begins, “[we] believe that the international community has a crucial and urgent role to play in order to redress the Israel/Palestine fast deteriorating conflict.”

“We believe that to serve that end, it is essential that the international community will act against the settlement policy of the Government of Israel, which bars any resolution of this conflict.”

“We strongly support the decision of the Human Rights Council to publish a list of companies carrying out business with the settlements,” continues the letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Bin Ra’ad Al-Hussein, which was also sent to the UN secretary-general.

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