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UN could update Israel settlement blacklist prior to September

Construction workers build illegal settlements in East Jerusalem [Sliman Khader/Apaimages]

The United Nations could update its blacklist of companies doing business in illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) by September, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post.

In 2016, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) mandated the establishment and ongoing maintenance of a list of businesses involved in Israeli settlements in the oPt.

In January this year, the UN Human Rights Office revealed that 206 companies had been identified thus far, but that work on finalising the database was delayed due to a lack of resources.

On Monday, outgoing-UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said his office would “continue its work on the database of business enterprises engaged in specific activities related to Israeli settlements”.

He added that there could be “an update possibly before September”.

Israel Supreme Court told that settlements law violates apartheid convention

Both Israel and the United States have applied significant pressure on the UN Human Rights Office since the database was first announced, in order to thwart the eventual publication of a list of complicit companies.

Israel sees the publication of such a database as a boost to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

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