Shameful attack on local councils respecting international law

3 May 2016 - 5:30pm
Press release

Tomorrow (4 May) will see the start of a judicial review hearing over motions passed by Swansea, Gwynedd and Leicester councils, concerning illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.  

War on Want’s Senior Militarism and Security Campaigner, Ryvka Barnard, said: 

"It’s shameful that local councils are being attacked for ensuring their policies are in line with international and UK law. The illegal settlements are a part of the systematic abuses of international law and human rights committed by Israel against the Palestinians. The UK government has reiterated over and over again that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are illegal, and has issued advice to businesses on the risks of investing in or trading with illegal settlements.

"Local councils following that advice and voting to distance themselves from illegal and human rights abusing settlements should not be standing trial over their decision to act responsibly and morally and in accordance with international law. These sham charges undermine the rights of local authorities to act in respect of human rights and to reflect the values of the people who elected them."

 

Notes to Editors

For interviews and further information, contact Ross Hemingway on +44 7983 550728.

  • BBC: Legal claim against Swansea and Gwynedd councils http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-36186477
  • Foreign & Commonwealth Office Guidance: Overseas Business Risk - The Occupied Palestinian Territories https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/overseas-business-risk-palest...2.4 Israeli settlements in the OPTs:  "Financial transactions, investments, purchases, procurements as well as other economic activities (including in services like tourism) in Israeli settlements or benefiting Israeli settlements, entail legal and economic risks stemming from the fact that the Israeli settlements, according to international law, are built on occupied land and are not recognised as a legitimate part of Israel’s territory. This may result in disputed titles to the land, water, mineral or other natural resources which might be the subject of purchase or investment. EU citizens and businesses should also be aware of the potential reputational implications of getting involved in economic and financial activities in settlements, as well as possible abuses of the rights of individuals.”
  • Protect Local Democracy campaign: http://waronwant.org/protect-local-democracy-qa

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