Monday, November 1st, 2010
Israeli Holding Company Africa Israel Investments: We Will Not Build in West Bank Settlements
AFI’s announcement that the company has no future plans for developing or constructing real estate beyond the Green Line was made in response to research done by the Israeli peace organization Coalition of Women for Peace. The pressure on AFI has recently increased following the Norwegian Pension Fund’s decision to divest from the company because of its involvement in the occupation.
Responding to the Coalition of Women for Peace, Africa Israel announced this week that it has no intentions to continue building in Israeli settlements. In an official letter, the company stated: “Neither the company nor any of its subsidiaries and/or other companies controlled by the company are presently involved in or has any plans for future involvement in development, construction or building of real estate in settlements in the West Bank.”
“Who Profits from the Occupation,” a research project initiated by the Coalition of Women for Peace to expose Israeli and international commercial involvement in the Israeli occupation, has exposed that Danya Cebus, a subsidiary of Africa Israel, was involved in constructing hundreds of housing units throughout the West Bank. The construction was carried out in the settlements Ma’ale Adomim, Har Homa, Adam, and the East Matityahu neighborhood in the settlement Modi’in Illit (which was built on the private lands of the people of the Palestinian village Bil’in).
Africa Israel’s involvement in the occupation exposed it to international pressure by activists and organizations such as Adalah-NY, demanding that the company stop its commercial involvement in the OPT. The pressure has increased following the Norwegian Pension Fund’s decision to divest from Africa Israel due to its involvement in the occupation.
In response to AFI’s announcement, Dalit Baum, the Who Profits Project Coordinator, stated: “We hope that this announcement by Africa Israel indicates a shift in the company’s policy, and that AFI will indeed stop building in Israeli settlements. AFI and other companies that profit from the occupation need to understand that their illegal activity in the Occupied Territories has a price.”