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29 May 2024


CSOs file criminal complaint in the Netherlands against Booking.com for allegedly profiting from Israeli settlement listings


"Dutch prosecutors studying complaint against Booking.com's Israeli settlement listings", 23 May 2024

Dutch prosecutors are looking into a criminal complaint against Booking.com (BKNG.O), opens new tab over its listing of rental properties in Israeli settlements, they said...

Dutch non-profit organisation SOMO said it had filed the complaint with the Dutch public prosecutor in November, together with three other human rights groups, but had not gone public with it before.

In their complaint the groups accuse Booking.com of "profiting from war crimes by facilitating the rental of vacation homes on land stolen from the indigenous Palestinian population".

Prosecutors were studying the complaint, but could not give a timeline for a decision on possible further steps...

Booking in a response said it disagreed with the allegations and that there are no laws prohibiting listings in Israeli settlements, while a range of U.S. state laws would prohibit divesting from the region.

SOMO said its research had shown that Booking's platform offered up to 70 listings for properties in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank between 2021 and 2023.

It argued that revenues acquired from renting out those properties are "proceeds of criminal activities", and that by booking these proceeds in the Netherlands the company is violating Dutch anti-money laundering rules.

The settlements built on land captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war are deemed illegal by most countries, including the Netherlands. Their presence is one of the fundamental issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.