Amnesty urges TripAdvisor to shun illegal Israeli settlements on 'stolen Palestinian land'
International human rights group Amnesty International has stepped up a campaign to demand that TripAdvisor stops listing tourist attractions and properties in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The rights group addressed an open letter to TripAdvisor staff on Wednesday urging them to use their power to demand an end to the tourism listings.
"Israel's policy of settling Israeli citizens on stolen Palestinian land in occupied territory is a war crime," Mark Dummett, Head of Business and Human Rights at Amnesty International said.
"By promoting tourism in these illegal settlements, TripAdvisor is helping boost their economies and contributing to the immense suffering of Palestinians who have been uprooted from their land, had their homes destroyed and their natural resources plundered for settlement use."
The open letter was shared with TripAdvisor staff after the company appeared to rebuke an Amnesty International report earlier this year which called on online booking companies to stop listing tourist accommodation, activities and attractions in settlements in occupied territories, including East Jerusalem.
TripAdvisor suggested that the company had no responsibility to stop advertising activities in Israeli settlements.
Earlier this year Amnesty's "Destination: Occupation" report revealed that digital tourism giants Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia and TripAdvisor were profiting from "war crimes" by offering services in Israeli settlements.
"We're here to advise TripAdvisor that they need to check out of the illegal Israeli settlements," Kate Allen, Amnesty's UK director, said.
"Holidays are supposed to be fun, not part of a wider system of human rights abuse," she said.
"Along with Airbnb, Expedia and Booking.com, TripAdvisor should stop this tainted trade in the settlement holiday business."
About 450,000 Israelis live in West Bank settlements often in confrontation with the territory's 2.5 million Palestinians, in addition to 200,000 living in settlements in occupied east Jerusalem.
Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law and major roadblocks to peace, as they are built on land Palestinians see as part of their future state.
Israel responded to the Amnesty report by threatening to ban the rights group from access to the country.