SHAFAQNA – Several human rights organizations have exposed the complicity of four major French banks and an insurance company in financing Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The revelation was made in a Wednesday report titled “Dangerous Liaisons: French banks and Israeli settlements” on the website of the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), an international human rights NGO with 184 member organizations from 112 countries.
The banks of BNP Paribas, Societe Generale, Credit Agricole and Groupe BPCE as well as AXA insurance firm hold shares in or are involved with Israeli banks, which are an “essential political tool in the creation of the settlements (and) finance construction,” the report read.
The five companies are further involved with businesses that help settlement development through the building of “housing, factories, the installation of telephone and internet connections, or surveillance equipment,” it added.
Additionally, the report, which was co-authored by a number of other human rights groups, including the France-Palestine Solidarity Association (AFPS), held France responsible for indirectly supporting the Israeli settlement enterprise by allowing the institutions to finance businesses involved in the construction activities.
“The French government must bring pressure to bear on the banks and insurance companies, demanding that they bring all their support to an end,” the report concluded.
Meanwhile, FIDH Vice President Maryse Artiguelong expressed frustration at the French groups’ involvement “in this illegal activity just to make a bit more money,” adding, “(They) are seeking profit at any cost.”
Moreover, Didier Fagart, an AFPS member, urged the French groups to “withdraw their money from Israeli businesses with a connection to the settlements.”
“French banks cannot say they don’t know what is going on. They must make the right decision,” Fagart said.
Emboldened by the support of US President Donald Trump’s administration, the Tel Aviv regime has given the go-ahead to the construction of many settler units in the occupied territories.
Israel’s settlement expansion defies United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 adopted in December 2016 that condemned the settlements as a “flagrant violation of international law.
Over half a million Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories.
The continued expansion of Israeli settlements is one of the major obstacles to the establishment of peace in the Middle East.
Source: Press TV