Saeb Erekat
Saeb ErekatFlash 90

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Wednesday the release of the United Nations database of companies doing business in Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria

“We welcome the release of the UN database of companies involved in Israeli settlements and thank the UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet for fulfilling the mandate given by the UN Human Rights Council in 2016 to prepare and release this database,” said Saeb Erekat, the PLO’s secretary general, in a statement quoted by the official Palestinian Authority (PA) Wafa news agency.

“This announcement enhances and consolidates the credibility of the Human Rights Council and international organizations in the face of the fierce attack and the intense pressure that the Trump administration places on these institutions to impede the implementation of its legal and humanitarian mandate entrusted to it by the international community,” he added.

“While this list does not include all the companies profiting from Israel's illegal colonial-settlement enterprise in occupied Palestine, it's a crucial first step to restore hope in multilateralism and international law,” said Erekat.

Erekat called on all companies “to end their complicity in the denial of our inalienable right to self-determination.”

“It is our firm belief that accountability and justice are essential requirements for peace. This database is the first concrete step towards holding Israel accountable for its illegal colonial-settlement enterprise in over half a century. It should serve as a reminder to the international community on the importance of strengthening the tools to implement international law at a time when the illegality of Israeli settlements is being challenged by those calling for the perpetuation of Israel’s control over the land, natural resources and the people of Palestine,” he added.

Riad Malki, the PA “foreign minister”, hailed the list as a “victory for international law and for the diplomatic effort to dry up the sources of the colonial system represented by illegal settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory.”

The UNHRC earlier published the list of 112 companies which operate in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

The council claims the companies, including Airbnb, Expedia, and TripAdvisor, violate international law by continuing to operate in the Jewish communities in the area.

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz responded to the publication of the list, saying that "the UN Human Rights Council's announcement of the ‘blacklist’ of business companies is a shameful surrender to the pressures of countries and organizations interested in hurting Israel, even though most countries in the world have refused to join this political pressure campaign."

"The Commissioner's decision to continue on the Human Rights Council's anti-Israeli line is a blemish on the UN Human Rights Council. In the words of the commissioner, it has become a server tool and partner of the boycott movement, even though her statement has no legal significance for the list," Katz added.

Former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley criticized the UN Human Rights Council over the move.

"The UN hit a new low today publishing its Antisemitic blacklist of companies it claims are involved in Israeli ‘settlement activity.’ The timing of this after the U.S. released a peace plan is conniving & manipulative at best. Shameful," she tweeted.