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U.K. Warns Against Doing Business in Settlements

December 9, 2013 By:
JTA
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Business dealings with Jewish West Bank settlements such as Betar Ilit should be avoided, according to the U.K. government. Photo by Amir Cohen/Reuters.

 

The British government is warning the business community to steer clear of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

New recommendations noting there are “clear risks” and the United Kingdom does “not offer support to such activity” were published last week on the U.K. Trade and Investment website in the section titled Overseas Business Risk–Israel.

The recommendations suggest that British and European Union citizens should: “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.”

They say the settlements, according to international law, “are built on occupied land and are not recognized 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.”

The recommendations reiterate that the British government considers the West Bank — including eastern Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights –  as territories occupied by Israel since 1967.

The section also states, however, that “The U.K. Government is deeply committed to promoting our trade and business ties with Israel and strongly opposes boycotts.”

On a positive note, the recommendations state that “Israel enjoys a strong entrepreneurial culture which nurtures and develops new ideas, making Israel a technology powerhouse.” Technology industries also have “an entrepreneurial start-up spirit,” according to the British government.




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