LONDON, As Israel steps up construction of illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), in brazen defiance of international law, Amnesty International (AI) called on TripAdvisor to urgently remove its listings in settlements and send a clear message that it will no longer contribute to human rights violations.
With a sharp increase in settlement expansion underway, and persistent attacks on Palestinians and their properties by some Israeli settlers, it is more important than ever that companies do not further legitimize settlements by doing business in them, said AI.
Amnesty International submitted on Thursday a petition to TripAdvisor’s CEO Stephen Kaufer, signed by more than 300,000 people from around the world, calling on the company to pull out of illegal settlements. The company has not responded to Amnesty International’s requests for comment.
“Israeli settlements violate international law and amount to war crimes. Companies which operate in the settlements are contributing to human rights violations and tacitly supporting Israel’s policy of forcing Palestinians out of their homes and crushing their basic rights,” said Saleh Higazi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“It is shameful that TripAdvisor has failed to update its policies, even as Israel forges ahead with increasingly aggressive land grabs that will intensify the suffering of Palestinians. Trip Advisor must comply with its responsibility to respect human rights and refrain from contributing to war crimes,” said Higazi.
Companies which operate in the settlements are tacitly supporting Israel’s policy of forcing Palestinians out of their homes,” he added.
In 2019 Amnesty International documented how digital tourism companies fuel and profit from war crimes and human rights violations against Palestinians by promoting attractions on illegally occupied land.
Since 1967 tens of thousands of Palestinian properties have been demolished and whole communities forcibly displaced to make way for illegal settlements. Natural resources have been diverted and appropriated to settlements, which flourish while Palestinians communities face systematic and institutionalized human rights violations.
International law is clear that establishing settlements in occupied territory is illegal and constitutes a war crime, and the international community has long opposed these violations, said AI.
Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency