British company G4S informed in a statement that it will sell its Israeli subsidiary “in the next 12 to 24 months,” a victory for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign that criticizes transnational firms for participating in Israeli violations of human rights in Palestine.
Following an intense BDS campaign against G4S, many of its clients, including U.N. bodies, trade unions, universities and other private firms, ended their contracts with G4S, resulting in multimillion-dollar losses since 2010, according to the Financial Time.
“As at the height of the international boycott of apartheid South Africa, BDS pressure is making some of the world’s largest corporations realize that profiting from Israeli apartheid and colonialism is bad for business,” said Mahmoud Nawajaa, a spokesperson for the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the broadest coalition in Palestinian society that leads the BDS movement.
“Investment fund managers are increasingly recognizing that their fiduciary responsibility obliges them to divest from Israeli banks and companies that are implicated in Israel’s serious human rights violations, such as G4S and HP, because of the high risk entailed. We are starting to notice a domino effect,” he added.
However, Palestinian sources commented that GS4's new policy will have little impact on the Israeli violations of human rights in Palestine, especially in prisons.
“From the U.S. to Palestine, from South Africa to the U.K., G4S is deeply involved in racist mass incarceration business. We remain determined to work closely with partners to hold G4S to account for its participation in human rights abuses,” said Palestinian lawyer Sahar Francis, director of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.
At least 6,000 Palestinians are currently detained in Israeli prisons, according to the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association in February 2015, including 163 children, 13 of whom are under 16. Israel was recently criticized for holding the youngest prisoner of the world, a 12-year-old girl charged with attempted murder.
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