Amazon offers free delivery to Israeli settlements, investigation finds

Amazon offers free delivery to Israeli settlements, but not to Palestinians, investigation finds
2 min read
14 February, 2020
A Financial Times investigation found Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank qualify for free shipping with Amazon, while customers who list their addresses in the Palestinian Territories do not.
Amazon suggested Palestinian customers list Israel as their country to qualify for the promotion [Getty]
Amazon offers free shipping to Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank while charging customers who list their country as the Palestinian Territories, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

Amazon's website states the promotion applies to customers with shipping addresses in Israel on qualifying orders over $49.

Upon running West Bank addresses listed as Israeli through Amazon's delivery portal, the FT found that the world's biggest online retailer offers free shipping to settlements on occupied Palestinian territory, which are deemed illegal under international law.  

Customers who select "Palestinian Territories" as their address, however, are subject to shipping and handling fees upwards of $24, the FT reported.

Amazon spokesman Nick Caplin told the FT customers within the occupied Palestinian territories can enter their addresses and select Israel as their country to qualify for the promotion. These details are not specified on Amazon's website.

When contacted by The New Arab, Caplin chalked the discrepancy up to a "logistical issue" that is "not a sign of any other consideration." 

"In November, we launched a free shipping promotion for customers within Israel," Amazon spokesman Nick Caplin told The New Arab in an emailed statement. "This does not include the Palestinian Territories, as we cannot guarantee the high standard of delivery experience that Amazon customers expect." 

Read more: The full list: Who are the 112 companies complicit in Israel's illegal settlement industry?

Caplin added that the issue lies in deliveries having to go 
through local customs regulations and additional inspections at the Israeli-controlled border, then having to be handed over to another local delivery operator.

On Wednesday, the United Nations released a list of companies with business ties to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territories. Amazon was not named in the report.

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