On Wednesday in New York City in a statement United Nations Secretary-General Ban-Ki-moon called Israel’s Wednesday announcement that more illegal settlements would be built in the occupied Palestinian territories deplorable, calling for both the Israelis and the Palestinians to “take every possible step to promote conditions conducive to the success of the negotiating process and to refrain from actions that undermine trust.”
“Settlement activity is contrary to international law and constitutes an obstacle to peace,” Secretary General Ban stated. He continued, “Any measures that prejudge final status issues will not be recognized by the international community.”
In addition, the UN News Center reported on Wednesday at the United Nations headquarters in New York City UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories Richard Falk cautioned that criminal charges could be levied against companies doing business in the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.
Falk remarked, “I strongly encourage all business to use the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as a guide for how to conduct their business, and to exercise due diligence to ensure they do not contribute to human rights violations and abuse, and in order to avoid responsibility for complicity in breaches of international law.”
In September Dutch company Royal HaskoningDHV cancelled its contract to build a wastewater treatment plant which would have serviced the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
A statement from the company noted that it had made the decision to cancel the contrast after consulting with stakeholders in the company and determining that such a project could violate international law.
In response to the Royal HaskoningDHV decision human rights expert Falk said, “It is hoped that other companies engaged in business relationships with the illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine will follow Royal HaskoningDHV’s lead and terminate their involvement out of respect for corporate responsibility and international law."