Israel: Renewed allegations that HeidelbergCement subsidiary's activities & planned expansion breaches IHL & Palestinians' rights; contains co. statement
In May 2020 Human Rights Watch (HRW) raised concerns regarding the reported expansion of the Nahal Raba quarry in the occupied West Bank. The quarry is owned by Hanson, a subsidiary of German headquartered HeidelbergCement.
HRW previously engaged with HeidelbergCement on the Nahal Raba quarry in 2016. They recount the previous positive dialogue they had with HeidelbergCement regarding allegations that the company has contributed to Israel's violations of international human rights law and grave human rights abuses against Palestinians. They welcomed developments including company commitments to human rights, including to the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights.
HRW request a meeting with the company to discuss the latest developments, including that NGOs SOMO and Al-Haq had submitted a UN report that the company intends to expand its operations on land allegedly owned privately by Palestinians, and that HRW has seen evidence that settlements continue to receive building materials from Nahal Raba quarry.
The letter requests HeidelbergCement respond to five questions on: the expansion and future of Nahal Raba; the destination of the extracted resources; the payment of taxes, royalties and other fees paid to Israel through subsidiary Hanson; and, any steps HeidelbergCement is taking to stop deliveries from subsidiaries to settlements.
HeidelbergCement replied to HRW's questions confirming that they are currently investigating three alleged deliveries to Israeli settlements from the quarry, that they are currently in the process of selling the quarry, and that they intend to increase human rights trainings and implement an action lan while they conduct "a thorough human rights risk assessment for Hanson Israel".
HRW's letter and HeidelbergCement's response can be read in full below.