NEW YORK (Dispatches) – The Palestinian foreign minister has hailed the release on Wednesday of a UN rights office report on companies with Zionist settlement ties and urged the international community to press the businesses to cut their links with the enclaves.
"The publication of the list of companies and parties operating in settlements is a victory for international law,” said a statement issued by Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki’s office.
Maliki urged UN-member states and the UN Human Rights council to "issue recommendations and instructions to these companies to end their work immediately with the settlements.”
The United Nations human rights office has released a report identifying companies with business ties to Zionist settlements in the occupied West Bank, a move hailed by Palestinians as a victory for international law.
The office said in a statement on Wednesday that it had named 112 business entities, including 94 based in the occupied territories and 18 others in six different countries. It said it had reasonable grounds to conclude that the firms have ties with Zionist settlements.
"I am conscious this issue has been, and will continue to be, highly contentious,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Wednesday.
The office said, "While the settlements as such are regarded as illegal under international law, this report does not provide a legal characterization of the activities in question, or of business enterprises’ involvement in them.”
The move was hailed by the Palestinian foreign minister, who described it as a victory.
"The publication of the list of companies and parties operating in settlements is a victory for international law,” Riyad al-Maliki’s office said in a statement.
The minister also called on UN member states and the UN Human Rights council to "issue recommendations and instructions to these companies to end their work immediately with the settlements.”
The newly released report drew condemnation from Tel Aviv, with the occupying regime’s foreign minister Israel Katz saying in a statement, "The announcement by the UN Human Rights Office of the publication of a ‘blacklist’ of businesses is shameful capitulation to pressure from countries and organizations that are interested in hurting Israel.”