TEL AVIV, Friday, December 23, 2022 (WAFA) – Norway’s sovereign wealth fund whose assets are valued at about $1.3 trillion is considering reviewing its investments in Israel to ensure that its funds do not finance settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories, Israeli reports said today.
The move, first reported by Channel 12 News, has been underway for a few months in order to ensure that Israeli banks do not direct their investments to those firms.
Israeli daily Haaretz said officials in Israel believe the latest move was influenced by the UN’s 2020 decision to issue a blacklist of more than 100 global companies that conduct business tied to Israeli settlements.
The fund has in the past divested from numerous companies around the world for activities it deemed unethical, including a number of Israeli companies involved in settlements.
In 2020, the Norwegian wealth fund invested $1.3 billion in 81 Israeli companies – about a third of its total Middle East investments.
According to the daily, Israeli officials reported that the fund's review was influenced by the United Nations' decision in 2020 to publish a blacklist of 112 companies that are suspected of having connections to settlements.
The original 2020 list contained a number of international businesses – most notably Airbnb, Booking.com and TripAdvisor – in addition to local banks, communications firms, energy and food companies in Israel.
Earlier this year, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories urged that an updated version of the blacklist be released as soon as possible.