Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Firms sued for Israeli settlements

A Palestinian village has sued two Canadian companies for building in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, the village's lawyer said.

This is the first time a private company has been sued for investing in settlements, which are a violation of international law, Michael Sfard, the attorney representing Bilin village, said on Thursday.

The claim was filed on Wednesday in a Canadian court against Green Park International and Green Mount International, sister companies registered in Quebec.

The companies could not be reached due to the time difference.

The construction is taking place on land seized from Bilin after Israel captured the West Bank in 1967 - a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which forbids an occupying power from transferring its own civilians into occupied territory.

The suit asks the court to halt all construction and to demolish the homes the companies have built in Modiin Illit, Israel's largest settlement.

About 250 apartments in 30 buildings are at issue, Sfard said.

The village also seeks punitive damages of $1.98m.

The unprecedented suit "will serve as a blinking red light for any investors and corporations that are considering doing anything in the settlements," Sfard said.

Bilin is best known for its weekly protests against Israel's West Bank separation wall, which is being built to stop suicide bombers, but has also taken half of the village's land.


  1. This court is not the only one calling for Israel to stop building settlements...

    G8 calls on Israel to freeze settlements!

    It is truly a shame when the abused become the abusers- in israel and everywhere in the world like Philadelphia for example. What goes around comes around... and every dog has his day!

  2. Yes, you are correct. I've read that the Spanish courts are inundated with similar lawsuits. The importance of these lawsuits is that the world is beginning to take notice of Israel's atrocities. I realize that it's entirely too slow a process, particularly, when innocent people are dying but it's just a matter of time before the mask comes off Israel. They have no one else to blame but their own greed, self-righteouness and misguided actions and attitude.

    The world owes them nothing but they owe the world everything!