JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel plans to consult the US government on a decision by the housing company to remove lists…
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel plans to consult the US government on a decision by the housing company to remove lists in Jewish settlements of the Israeli occupied West Bank, a minister said on Tuesday.
Palestinians wanting to establish an independent state in territory including the West Bank that Israel captured in 1967 war welcomed the San Francisco-based company’s move, announced Monday and comes into force in the next few days. Israel called it a “miserable surrender” for boycotters.
“We will approach the US government because 25 US states have sanctions against US companies like boycotting Israel,” said Gilad Erdan’s strategic questions about the Israeli Army Radio.
“In this regard, there is no difference between this part or that part of the state of Israel,” he said, claiming that the West Bank, as Israel has never attached, should also be protected by boycott.
Palestine Legal, a Palestinian Rights Group Monitoring US Boycott Law, said on its website that some of the laws adopted at US state level concern both Israel and “territories controlled by Israel”, a reference to areas such as the West Bank.
Main Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat called Airbnb’s decision a “first positive step”.
Israel’s settlements in occupied territory are considered illegal by most world powers. Palestinians believe that settlements hinder their goal of establishing an independent state. Israel disputes this.
On his own website, Airbnb said that “many in global society have said businesses would not do business here (in the Occupied Territories) because they believe companies should not benefit from countries where people have been shifted.”
It was then concluded that it would remove the approximately 200 “lists in Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank, which is the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.”
Then said Airbnb “must explain why it takes this discriminatory and racist line here in particular and not in other conflict zones in the world”.
Then, pointers in Israel’s campaign against the international bockakott, divestment and sanction movement that want to isolate it over occupation of Palestinians seek a state, offered state legal advice to all hosts who want to sue Airbnb.
Erekat, the highest Palestinian negotiator, urged the UN Human Rights Council to release a database of companies that “benefit from the Israeli colonial occupation”.
Oded Revivi, Mayor of the West Bank settlement of Euphrates, said that Airbnb had violated his own stated mission to “bring people in as many places as possible around the world”.
The Israeli Tourism Department said that it was looking at options, including new taxation , to restrict Airbnb activities throughout Israel.
Airbnb’s movement came to the publication of a Human Rights Watch report on tourist rentals in Israeli settlements. The New York-based group welcomed Airbnb’s “important recognition that such lists can not quarrel with their human rights responsibilities”.
Airbnb is considering an IPO next year after announcing in February that it would not make a public debut this year.
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