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  • Palestinians protest against Israeli settlements in the West Bank village of Nilin, May 31, 2013.

    Palestinians protest against Israeli settlements in the West Bank village of Nilin, May 31, 2013. | Photo: AFP

Published 24 March 2016

The U.N. resolution, which angered EU countries, says certain companies and enterprises are helping the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements.

The United Nations Human Rights Council will vote Thursday on adopting a resolution that would establish a database for businesses and enterprises with financial dealings and involvement in illegal Israeli settlements in the Palestinian-occupied West Bank and the Syrian-occupied Golan territories,

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The Middle East Monitor website reported Wednesday that the U.N. body will vote on four resolutions concerning the Israeli settlements. The one concerning the businesses database has angered several European Union countries which, according to the outlet, will either vote against it or abstain.

The resolution notes that “the settlement enterprise and the impunity associated with its persistence, expansion and related violence continue to be a root cause of many violations of the Palestinians’ human rights, and constitute the main factors perpetuating Israel’s belligerent occupation of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 1967,” the Middle East Monitor said in a report.

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The Israeli businesses are labeling products from the illegal settlements as made in Israel and therefore have “directly and indirectly, enabled, facilitated and profited from the construction and growth of the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” the resolution warned.

"Private individuals, associations and charities in third states” are “involved in providing funding to Israeli settlements and settlement-based entities, contributing to the maintenance and expansion of settlements," the resolution added.

The database would serve as a way for foreign states to “provide guidance to individuals and businesses on the financial, reputational and legal risks, including the possibility of liability for corporate involvement in gross human rights abuses as well as the abuses of the rights of individuals, of becoming involved in settlement-related activities."

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The Middle East Monitor said the resolution comes as a follow-up to an earlier fact-finding mission, which investigated “the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.”

Alarmed by the database, the United Kingdom, the EU and other Western countries have been applying pressure on Palestinian officials to remove the paragraph establishing the database of businesses involved in settlement activities.

Some 500,000 Israelis have settled in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, among 2.4 million Palestinians, according to recent estimates. The International community, including the EU and the United States, consider Israeli settlements illegal and in violation of international law.

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