RAMALLAH, Saturday, January 23, 2021 (WAFA) - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates sent letters to the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Abu Al-Gheit, and the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Yusef Al-Othaimin, complaining about companies operating directly or indirectly with the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement today that the letters talked about the negative and hostile impact of that on the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, on top of which is the right to self-determination, and other economic, social and cultural rights.
It said that companies and businessmen from member states have concluded trade agreements aimed at importing products from Israeli colonial settlements located on the land of the occupied State of Palestine in violation of international law. The first shipments of olive oil and honey products from the settlement company Torra Winery, located in the illegal settlement of Rehelim built on stolen lands belonging to the Palestinian village of al-Sawiya, and from Paradise Honey Factory in the settlement of Harmash, have arrived at their destinations.
The Foreign Ministry stressed that the settlements violate international law, United Nations resolutions, including Security Council Resolution 2334, contribute to a war crime, and a violation of the resolutions of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, all of which affirmed the illegality of settlements and their products.
It called on the High Commissioner and other parties to address all institutions and individuals to clarify these legal violations, which affect the Palestinian rights, considered an assault on them, and are consistent with colonial projects, and to call on them to go back on these violations, and also to call on states to take all necessary measures, including legal follow-up, and enact local laws to deter any individual, institution, or company that is proven to be directly or indirectly complicit in any commercial or other business with the colonial settlements, and to hold them accountable as they contribute to a war crime against the Palestinian people, their rights and resources.
The Foreign Ministry explained that it did not submit any complaint against any specific country, but rather called on all parties to follow up with companies and individuals, given that the mission and mandate of the High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the database of companies cooperating with the settlements are specific to companies, individuals, entities and commercial dealings only.
It called on the High Commissioner to add companies that deal with the settlements to the database issued by the Human Rights Council, as part of its annual update of this list, leading to holding accountable all businessmen who insist on violating human rights and the basic rights of the Palestinian people.