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Norway's wealth fund withdraws from Israel firms with ties to settlements

Israeli settlements in the West Bank on 10 June 2020 [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images]
Illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank on 10 June 2020 [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images]

Norway's Sovereign Wealth Fund yesterday withdrew its investments from two Israeli companies over their involvement in Israel's illegal settlement activities in the occupied West Bank.

The fund said in a statement: "The companies were excluded based on advice from the Council on Ethics due to unacceptable risk that the companies contribute to systematic violations of individuals' rights in situations or war or conflict."

"The Israeli settlements in the West Bank have been built in violation of international law and that their existence and constant expansion causes significant harm and disadvantage to the area's Palestinian population," the Council on Ethics said in a separate statement.

At the end of 2020, the fund held $1 million in stocks in Shapir Engineering and Industry Ltd and $12 million in Mivne Real Estate KD Ltd.

The decision comes amid international pressure in a number of Western countries to divest from companies that support the occupation.

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