US pushing to block blacklist of Israeli settlement businesses

US pushing to block UN blacklist of Israeli settlement businesses
2 min read
23 August, 2017
The US government is fighting against the formation of a database that identifies international companies working inside Israeli settlements, according to a report by the Washington Post.
The issue of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land has prevented a peace agreement [AFP]
The US administration is working to block a UN database that identifies the international companies working inside Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

The UN Human Rights Council last year adopted a resolution to set up a database identifying companies doing businesses inside illegal Jewish settlements inside the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The US administration staunchly opposed the resolution and has been actively working against it, diplomatic sources told Washington Post.

Senior US officials declined to give details over the American companies named in the most recent draft of the list, which was handed to US diplomats.

However sources close to the Geneva-based body revealed that American companies including Caterpillar, Priceline.com, TripAdvisor and Airbnb are included on the list.

The database – which has been dubbed as the "blacklist"– will enable organisations to boycott companies involved in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.

The list is set to cover a wide range of industries, including construction, security services, banks and utility companies – both Israeli and international companies.

Adopting the resolution in March last year was seen as a symbolic victory for the Palestinians, and a blow to the Israeli government and its allies.

US Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert commented that "the United States has been adamantly opposed to this resolution from the start" and has fought against it before several UN bodies.

"These types of resolutions are counterproductive and do nothing to advance Israeli-Palestinian issues."

The issue of Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land –declared illegal under international law – is one of the major issues that prevents a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein told US officials the list is expected to be published by the end of the year.

The database will be updated annually.