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Do Oil Fund investments in the Occupied Palestinian Territory violate human rights?

"Do Oil Fund investments in the Occupied Palestinian Territory violate human rights?" 24th April 2019

A new report on investments by Norway’s sovereign wealth fund in the Occupied Palestinian Territory looks at institutional investors’ responsibility to respect the human rights impact of settlement business activities, and makes recommendations as to how the fund can better meet its responsibility to respect human rights in line with international standards.

The report, launched on April 24th, 2019 was written by human rights experts from  Essex Business and Human Rights Project  (EBHR) in the United Kingdom - Chiara Macchi, Tara Van Ho, and Luis Felipe Yanes.

The authors suggest the classification of business activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in five categories:

  • Companies allegedly selling security equipment to occupying forces: Hewlett-Packard Enterprises and MotorolaSolution
  • Companies allegedly contributing to home demolitions: Caterpillar
  • Companies allegedly engaged in quarrying; Heidelberg Cement
  • Companies financing and constructing settlements: Bank Hapoalim, First International Bank of Isreal, Bank Leumi, Cemex, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank, Israeli Discount Bank
  • Companies engaged in wall and rail construction: Alstom and Cemex.

The report concludes that the Fund’s responsibility to respect human rights will only be discharged by divesting from companies that cause or contribute to the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and to the human rights violations that stem from the Government of Israel’s approach to the settlements”.

The Business and Human Rights Centre has reached out to all companies above and published their response/ non-response.
The Centre attempted to reach Bank Hapoalim for a response but was unable to contact them. This story will be updated if a response is received from Bank Hapoalim.

 
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Article
20 May 2019

Alstom did not respond

Company non-response
20 May 2019

Caterpillar did not respond

Company non-response
20 May 2019

Cemex did not respond

Company non-response
20 May 2019

First International Bank of Israel did not respond

Company response
20 May 2019

Hewlett Packard Responds to allegations on supplying products linked to war crimes

Author: Emmanuel Fyle, Global Corporate Media Relations of Hewlett Packard

“HPE is strongly committed to socially responsible business practices and has been throughout its history.  Our work in Israel is consistent with our values and standards.  It is not our policy to take sides in political disputes between countries or regions.  Instead, we are committed to making the benefits of technology available to all people as a means to learn, to work and to thrive.”

Company non-response
20 May 2019

Israel Discount Bank did not respond

Article
20 May 2019

The Norwegian Sovereign Fund exposed to human rights risks in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Author: Carlos Tornero, Responsible Investor

"Norwegian sovereign fund exposed to human rights risks in Occupied Palestinian Territories - report",26th of April 2019

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A new research report claims there are inconsistencies in the exclusion criteria of the Norwegian sovereign fund which exposes it to human rights risk linked to its investments in companies active in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The report, entitled “Investor Obligations in Occupied Territories: A report on the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global” (link, Norwegian), recommends reviewing the Council of Ethics’ criteria to exclude companies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories to avoid inconsistencies andprevent human rights risks.

A spokesperson for NBIM told RI in a statement: “We read all reports with interest. We have clear expectations towards how companies manage human rights. These expectations are relevant for all companies we are invested in, independent of where they have operations. We monitor our investments and assess sustainability and social risks. We address human rights issues as part of our ownership dialogue. “The Guidelines for observation and exclusion forms the basis for recommendations from the independent Council of Ethics related to gross ethical breaches.”

 

Read the full post here

Company response
17 May 2019

Motorola Solutions responds to allegations linking its products to war crimes

Author: Elvan Lindberg, Motorola Solutions

Motorola Solutions provides communications systems to customers in more than 100 countries around the world, including governments, businesses and non-governmental organizations.  The company has a long history of working with customers in countries throughout the Middle East and supports all efforts in the region to find a peaceful resolution to their differences.  

As a well-respected and responsible corporate citizen, our global activities are conducted in accordance with U.S., local, country and other applicable laws, as well as our own code of business conduct.  Our company has a comprehensive set of policies and procedures that address human rights that are designed to ensure that our operations worldwide are conducted with the highest standards of integrity.  

 

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Article
13 May 2019

Investor Obligations in Occupied Territories: A Report on the Norwegian Government Pension Fund

Author: Norwegian People's Aid

"Do Oil Fund investments in the Occupied Palestinian Territory violate human rights?" 24th April 2019

A new report on investments by Norway’s sovereign wealth fund in the Occupied Palestinian Territory recommends reviewing exclusion criteria to avoid inconsistencies and prevent human rights risks. The report looks at institutional investors’ responsibility to respect human rights; the human rights impact of settlement business activities; and makes recommendations as to how the fund can better meet its responsibility to respect human rights in line with international standards.

 

Read the full post here

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Company response
8 May 2019

Heidelberg Cement responds to allegations on quarrying in the settlments

Author: Andreas Schaller, Heidelberg Cement

The Nahal Raba quarry is located on public land in Area C, directly at the border to Israel. Before the Australian company Pioneer started quarry operations in 1986, the ownership of the land was checked thoroughly according to the statutes of article 43 of the Hague Conventions (IV) of 1907 on the basis of the Jordanian planning law No. 79 from 1966 and an extensive planning approval process was conducted that offered extensive veto rights to potentially affected local residents. ..

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