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Banking giant HSBC divests from Israeli arms manufacturer following pressure from human rights campaigners
Author: War on Want, Published on: 31 December 2018
Human rights campaigners have declared a victory as global banking giant HSBC confirmed that it has divested completely from Israeli weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems after a year of campaign pressure. Elbit Systems is one of Israel’s largest arms manufacturers, notorious for its deadly drones used in attacks on Palestinian civilians, and marketed abroad as ‘combat proven’. The company has also manufactured white phosphorous and artillery systems that can be used for cluster munitions. Elbit Systems has been excluded from pension and investment funds around the world over the company’s involvement in supplying surveillance systems and other technology to Israel’s Separation Wall and settlements in the West Bank... HSBC’s link with Elbit Systems was first exposed in 2017 in a War on Want report on UK banks’ business dealings with companies selling military equipment and technology to Israel. HSBC has a ‘Defence Equipment Sector Policy’ which specifies that the bank would not provide financial services to companies involved in the production or selling of cluster munitions. Campaigners pointed out that its involvement with Elbit Systems, even if ‘on behalf of clients’ as the bank long claimed, violated this policy as well as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights...