UNHRC pressures Israeli company to cut off internet services to settlements

The UN Human Rights Council has been accused of blackmailing Bezeq, an telecommunications company that services West Bank settlements.

October 17, 2017 08:28
1 minute read.
Israeli pedestrians stand on a roadside near the West Bank Jewish settlement of Efrat

Israeli pedestrians stand on a roadside near the West Bank Jewish settlement of Efrat. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN - REUTERS)


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The United Nations Human Rights Council has been pressuring Israeli telecommunications giant Bezeq to cut off its services to settlements, saying that the company is promoting the illegal communities and their expansion, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Bezeq currently provides the same services to Israeli cities and towns within the Green Line and to the settlements beyond it. By pressuring the company to suspend services to Israel's West Bank settlements, the UNHRC has been accused of "blackmail" and of participating in the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement that many Israelis see as antisemitic.

The UNHRC has been working to compile a database of companies working with Israel in its illegal settlements. The Trump administration, as well as the Israeli government, is said to oppose the database.

In a letter to the company's CEO, the international body said that Bezeq is ''supporting the maintenance and existence of settlements,'' and ''[using] nature resources, in particular water and land, for business purposes," and states that, in addition to servicing West Bank settlements, the company also owns properties in the Palestinian territories as well.

One activist said that letters like the one sent to Bezeq as part of the database campaign are ''nothing short of an assault on the economic welfare on the State of Israel, period.''

Approximately 30 American companies are said to have received similar letters.

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