HSBC faces protest for profiting from human rights abuses

17 April 2018 - 11:45am
Press release
HSBC is a major shareholder in companies which supply weapons and military equipment to Israel, which uses extensive and often lethal military against Palestinians, including the recent killing of unarmed protesters in the Gaza Strip.
 
Over 18,000 people around the UK have contacted HSBC Group Chief Executive John Flint, expressing their concerns on this issue, and HSBC branches in over 20 locations across the UK have been the focus of regular protests and pickets.
 
On Friday 20 April between 10am to 2pm, protesters outside the Queen Elizabeth II Centre will be telling shareholders at HSBC’s annual general meeting to ‘Stop Arming Israel’.
 
British high street bank HSBC profits from Israel’s military violence against Palestinians through investments and loans to companies which supply military equipment to Israel.  Israel’s security forces use such weapons for brutal and illegal violence against Palestinians, including extrajudicial executions, attacks on unarmed protesters, house demolitions using armoured equipment, mass arrests and the military blockade and large scale bombings on the Gaza Strip.
 
Ryvka Barnard, Senior Campaigner on Militarism and Security at War on Want, said: “HSBC holds millions of pounds worth of shares in companies like BAE Systems, Boeing, and Elbit Systems, whose weapons are used in Israeli military attacks on Palestinian civilians. As long as HSBC maintains business with companies arming Israel, its role in the oppression of Palestinians will continue to raise alarm and generate protest.” 
 
Ben Jamal, Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: “HSBC claims it has a commitment to upholding human rights. If this commitment is sincere, it must end its complicity in the arms trade with Israel. In recent weeks, the world has witnessed just how shamelessly Israel uses lethal force against Palestinian civilians. We join concerned citizens across the UK in telling HSBC to live up to its responsibilities and stop making a killing from Israel’s daily and systematic violence against Palestinians.”  
 
Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Programme Director at Defence for Children International -Palestine, said: “Israeli forces are using live ammunition for crowd control to disperse protesters in Gaza, ignoring their obligation under international law to only resort to intentional lethal force when a direct, mortal threat to life or of serious injury exists. The cost of systemic impunity is that wilful killing of civilians is now routine, putting Palestinian children at higher risk of death and critical injury.”  
 
Follow the campaign and the protest online with #StopArmingIsrael and #HSBComplicity
 
Press Enquiries
 
 
Telephone: 020 7324 5060 or 07983 550 728
 
For out of hours enquiries, please call 07983 550 728
 
If you would like to be added to our press list or arrange a meeting, contact Press Officer Marienna Pope-Weidemann directly at mweidemann@waronwant.org
 

HSBC: Stop Arming Israel

Email the head of HSBC, and tell him to end HSBC complicity in Israel's crimes against the Palestinian people.

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