Israeli cellular companies reportedly built antenna towers in an illegal settlement in the Palestinian Occupied territories

A recent article by +972 Magazine reported that three major cellular companies in Israel, Orange, Cellcom, and Pelephone, built antenna towers in the illegal West Bank settlement outpost of Migron. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Orange, Cellcom, and Pelephone to respond. 

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Company non-response
17 May 2015

Pelephone did not respond

Company non-response
11 May 2015

Cellcom Israel did not respond

Company non-response
11 May 2015

Orange did not respond

Article
11 May 2015

Israeli cellular companies paid to squat on Palestinian land

Author: Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, +972 Magazine (Israel)

"Israeli cellular companies paid to squat on Palestinian land', 14 April 2015

Israel’s three major cellular companies, including the franchisee of Orange, paid rent to Israeli settlers who illegally established an outpost on privately owned Palestinian land, court documents show. For 12 years, Orange franchisee Partner Communications, Cellcom and Pelephone paid approximately NIS 200,000 to Israeli settlers in the illegal West Bank outpost of Migron in order to place cellular antennas inside the settlement, Walla News’s Shabtai Bendet reported Sunday...the three cellular companies, one of which pays franchise fees to a Paris based company that is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, paid rent to Israeli settlers who were illegally squatting on Palestinian land — for 12 years. It should be noted that all settlements are illegal under international law, a near-consensus understanding with which only Israel disagrees. This settlement, however, was illegal even under Israeli law. Last year, the French government openly warned its citizens “not to engage in financial activity or investments in the Israeli settlements in the West Bank,” Haaretz reported at the time. Considering that settlements are built on occupied land, doing business in them “could lead to a high likelihood of land disputes,” the French warning read. In the case of Migron, that likelihood was a certainty, one that the cellular companies should have been aware of, especially considering the fact that they were denied building permits to erect their antennas, but which they built nevertheless. According to the Walla report, not only did the cellular companies not obtain the proper permits to build their towers, they even ignored Israeli army stop-work orders and continued construction. The three companies are currently asking the Israeli courts to allow their antennas to remain on the illegally seized Palestinian land, arguing that they are necessary for security, Walla reported. The State has offered them alternative locations for their cellular antennas...

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