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UN expert praises Dutch firm for pulling out of Israeli settlement project
UN expert praises Dutch firm for pulling out of Israeli settlement project
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Gaza, Alray - A senior expert at the United Nations has hailed a decision by a Dutch firm to pull out of an Israeli settlement project in East al-Quds (Jerusalem), PressTV reported.

ON Tuesday, UN special Rapporteur Richard Falk welcomed Royal Haskoning DHV’s decision to terminate its contract with the Israeli regime to build the Kidron wastewater treatment plant intended to service illegal settlements.

“The sewage treatment facility would have served to further entrench Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem (al-Quds), now universally considered to be a violation of international law and United Nations resolutions,” Falk said, adding, “It is encouraging that international corporations are taking corporate social responsibility seriously and weighing the legal consequences, financial costs and reputational risks of involvement in the maintenance and expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine.”

Royal HaskoningDHV, which is the Netherlands’ largest engineering company, said in a statement earlier that the project is a “violation of international law.”

"In the course of the project, and after due consultation with various stakeholders, the company came to understand that future involvement in the project could be in violation of international law," the company said.

The UN expert called on all companies doing business related to the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestine to “follow Royal HaskoningDHV’s lead and terminate their involvement out of respect for corporate responsibility and international law.”

The presence and continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.

Most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbids construction on occupied lands.