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4 Feb 2018

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada

UN holds back names of Israel settlement profiteers

The United Nations human rights office has held back a database of companies involved in Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Syria’s Golan Heights. Barak Ravid, the diplomatic correspondent for Israel’s Channel 10, reported that the UN had “indefinitely” postponed publishing the list of firms “after strong pressure” from the United States and Israel... [T]he UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a report published Wednesday that it still “expects to provide the names of the companies … in a future update.” The report states... that UN researchers compiled a list of 206 companies that “were subject to further research and consideration” for their activities in the settlements. It said the majority of these were “domiciled in Israel or the settlements, followed by the United States of America, Germany, the Netherlands and France.” The UN said... it has contacted more than 60 of the companies but due to time and resource constraints had yet to write to the others in what is described as an ongoing process to determine the nature and extent of the companies’ activities... Human Rights Watch welcomed the interim report... despite the lack of names, but urged that the mission needed to be carried through...