UK construction equipment maker denies connection to Israeli abuse allegations
A British heavy machinery company has denied claims by an international human rights group that it is complicit in allegations of Israeli abuse in the West Bank.
Amnesty International said excavators and excavators from JC Bamford Excavators Limited were used to demolish Palestinian homes and to build Jewish settlements, two items considered violations of international law.
JCB is one of more than 100 companies listed in a United Nations database of companies operating in West Bank settlements.
In a statement released Thursday evening, JCB said it “does not contribute to, is in any way responsible for or linked in any way to human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, either directly or indirectly. “.
He said an independent investigation by the UK’s national contact point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises had recently absolved the company of any wrongdoing.
This investigation revealed that JCB did not violate guidelines to prevent or mitigate human rights violations. But he criticized the company for failing to demonstrate human rights due diligence in its supply chain.
Amnesty said in a report Thursday that JCB’s equipment is sold to an Israeli middleman, who then resells it to customers including the Defense Ministry. Amnesty said using an intermediary does not exempt JCB from ensuring that its equipment is not used to violate human rights.
“JCB’s failure to conduct appropriate human rights due diligence on the end use of its products represents a failure to respect human rights,” the group said in its report.
Home demolitions are a controversial measure that the Israeli security establishment believes may deter future terrorist attacks. Critics say the tool is a war crime and a form of collective punishment.
Israel also sometimes demolishes structures that it claims were built without the required building permits. Palestinians and rights groups say such permission is systematically denied, forcing construction without a license.
Israel captured East Jerusalem and the West Bank in the 1967 Six Day War, and the Palestinians want the two regions to be part of their future state. Palestinians and most of the international community view the Israeli settlements as a violation of international law and an obstacle to peace.
Israel has annexed East Jerusalem and regards the entire city as its capital. He sees the West Bank as contested territory whose fate must be resolved in negotiations, which last took place in 2014.
Current Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is opposed to a Palestinian state and has said there is currently no possibility of relaunching peace talks. He also said that Israel would not annex any territory while he was prime minister and called for maintaining ties and relations with Palestinian officials in order to maintain calm and security coordination.