United Nations names global companies linked to Israeli settlements

Israeli Minister of Transportation and Intelligence Yisrael Katz

But the final report published Wednesday cited 112 business entities that the office had "reasonable grounds to conclude have been involved in one or more of the specific activities referenced" in the 2016 resolution. The list also includes Motorola Solutions, General Mills, Trip Advisor and Airbnb of the United States and a handful of United Kingdom and Alstom of France companies.

"We expressed our opinion regarding this plan of annexation", Erdogan said, presumably referring to the plan's recognition of Israeli sovereignty over Israeli settlements in the Palestinian Authority-controlled West Bank.

Omar Awadallah, the head of public administration for United Nations human rights organisations at the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, talks to Al Jazeera. The report said its authors had communicated directly with the companies to allow them to defend themselves or say whether they had changed their operations in the settlements. "We strongly reject this contemptible effort", he said.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz called the report a "shameful capitulation" to anti-Israel groups.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

The U.N. report does not accuse the companies of violating worldwide law, but it does come amid the global nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that calls for the boycott of companies linked to illegal settlements.

NGO Monitor, an Israeli group that is highly critical of the rights council, called the list "defamatory" and an endorsement of the anti-Israel boycott movement.

The process of creating the database was quite lengthy - the idea of it was initially floated back in 2017, when the inclusion of over 200 companies was hinted at, though the finished document lists a little over half this number.

"Whoever boycotts us will be boycotted", Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated on Twitter.

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JCB has always been criticised by rights activists as the Israeli military has been photographed using it bulldozers in the West Bank, where it regularly demolishes Palestinian homes and buildings.

His domestic rival, Benny Gantz, head of the main Israeli opposition party, Blue and White, also rebuked the report.

The database was created largely to name and shame companies contributing to the settlements, which have been deemed illegal by much of the global community.

"The long-awaited release of the United Nations settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements is to aid in the commission of war crimes", said Bruno Stagno, HRW's deputy executive director for advocacy.

Any further steps will be a matter for Human Rights Council member states.

The release of the database of businesses contributing to illegal Israeli settlements is a major breakthrough in holding businesses accountable for their role in rights abuses, Human Rights Watch said today.

He noted that multiple countries had expressed concern about the list, produced by the office of United Nations rights chief Michelle Bachelet on a mandate from a 2016 Human Rights Council resolution.

Israel has never been a member of the council, which comprises 47 governments, including those of Libya, Venezuela, Eritrea, Nigeria, Angola and Somalia, in addition to Bahrain, Sudan, Qatar, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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