A Human Rights Watch report on Israel’s illegal settlement activity in the occupied territories, urges businesses to comply with the international humanitarian law and stop any activity that violates Palestinians’ rights. The report compares Israeli treatment of Jewish settlements to Palestinian ones, and details a “two-tiered system in the West Bank that provides preferential treatment to Jewish Israeli settlers while imposing harsh conditions on Palestinians.”
The report ‘Occupation, Inc., How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s violations of Palestinian Rights’ details how settlement businesses contribute to Israeli discrimination against Palestinians, while profiting from resources and land that has been taken from the Palestinians. Settlement businesses benefit from the confiscation of Palestinian land, and HRW believes they “contribute to the further confiscation of Palestinian land, restrictions on Palestinian access to their lands, and their forced displacement from these lands.”
Businesses also benefit from financial and regulatory incentives provided by the Israeli government and discriminatory granting of permits to settlement companies, but not for Palestinian businesses.
The report outlines the ways in which Israel impedes Palestinian economic potential, through refusing licenses and blocking access to land. Palestinians working in the settlements are paid less than the Israeli minimum wage. The report also pointed out a number of international businesses profiting from settlement areas.