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Company Response

9 Sep 2015


HeidelbergCement response

...From HeidelbergCement’s perspective, the quarrying activity is compatible with international humanitarian law as it produces substantial advantages for the local Palestinian population and at the same time it hardly affects the raw material reserves. In addition to royalties and leasing fees that are used by the civil administration for local projects, for example infrastructure projects, in Area C of the West bank, the local Palestinian population benefits especially from the creation of attractive jobs in a region that is otherwise characterized by high unemployment and long-term economic stagnation. Significantly more than 50% of employees and contractors working in the quarry are local Palestinians. Palestinian and Israeli employees are treated the same and receive equal payment that is several times higher than the average wages paid in the West Bank. In addition, employees benefit from state-of the-art trainings, which open up new career opportunities and from healthcare organized by Hanson Israel. Palestinian and Israeli employees work together in intercultural teams, which also open up informal channels of cultural exchange that foster mutual understanding. This is especially important in a situation where contact between the different ethnic groups has become very limited, if not non-existent, throughout the last decade with increasing anti-normalization campaigns worsening the situation...