As Israel prepares to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank including illegal settlements in defiance of international law, Amnesty International has called on TripAdvisor to urgently remove properties listed in settlements.
On its website, Amnesty International said that it is calling on TripAdvisor to remove listings in Israeli settlements and send a clear message that it will no longer contribute to human rights violations.
“With a sharp increase in settlement expansion underway, and persistent attacks on Palestinians and their properties by some Israeli settlers, it is more important than ever that companies do not further legitimize settlements by doing business in them,” Amnesty said.
The rights group said it had submitted a petition to TripAdvisor’s CEO Stephen Kaufer, signed by more than 300,000 people from around the world, calling on the company to pull out of illegal settlements.
“Israeli settlements violate international law and amount to war crimes,” Saleh Higazi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said.
Higazi added: “Companies which operate in the settlements are contributing to human rights violations and tacitly supporting Israel’s policy of forcing Palestinians out of their homes and crushing their basic rights.”
He continued: “It is shameful that TripAdvisor has failed to update its policies, even as Israel forges ahead with increasingly aggressive land grabs that will intensify the suffering of Palestinians. Trip Advisor must comply with its responsibility to respect human rights and refrain from contributing to war crimes.”
Amnesty International said that it documented in 2019 how digital tourism companies fuel and profit from war crimes and human rights violations against Palestinians by promoting attractions on illegally occupied land.
Since 1967 tens of thousands of Palestinian properties have been demolished and whole communities forcibly displaced to make way for illegal settlements, Amnesty said.
Natural resources have been diverted and appropriated to settlements, which flourish while Palestinians communities face systematic and institutionalized human rights violations.
International law is clear that establishing settlements in occupied territory is illegal and constitutes a war crime, and the international community has long opposed these violations.