Palestinians against Spain's investments in Territories

PNA campaign aimed at 50 countries after EU directive

28 October, 12:44

    (ANSAmed) - MADRID, October 28 - The Palestinian Authority has protested against Spanish investments in Israeli settlements as part of a campaign aimed at convincing some 50 countries to pass measures against companies with commercial or financial relations with settlements in the West Bank.

    In a letter sent to these countries, Spanish daily El Pais reports, the Palestinian foreign ministry cited the case of Spanish company NaanDanJail, which makes irrigation systems and is based in Santa Maria del Aguila in Almeria. The enterprise has six branches in Spain and Portugal and depends on the group by the same name which was created in the Naan kibbutz, charged by Palestinian authorities with ''providing services to farmers and settlers in the Jordan valley, on Mount Hebron and the Golan Heights', in Territories 'illegally' occupied by Istrael, thus 'violating international law'.

    The company in Almeria, which is active since 2001 in Andalusia and since 2007 under its Israeli name, has 600 clients in Spain and a turnover estimated at around 135 million euros.

    The management of NaanDanJain said they have not received any notification or information regarding the Palestinian government's protest.

    The Palestinian Authority's campaign was launched after an EU directive was approved last July banning funding, investments or scholarships to institutions or companies operating in the settlements, in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, recognized by the United Nations.

    Before the directive is scheduled to become effective on January 1, 2014, the EU is discussing a labelling system to differentiate products coming from settlements with those produced in the rest of the Israeli territory.

    Spain is among EU countries with the lowest number of companies listed by the Palestinian government. Overall, 504 have been listed including major groups like Germany's Siemens and France's Veolia.

    Britain and the Netherlands have been urging their companies over the past few months not to invest or forge joint ventures with Israeli companies operating there. 'Our aim is not a boycott but to show Israel that violating international law has a price', Nabil Shaath, a member of the PLO's political committee, told El Pais.

    Shaath said Palestinian authorities were meaning to show Madrid with their initiative that, after 'strongly investing in the creation of Palestinian institutions, in order for such efforts to have results, it must implement existing laws that already condemn human rights violations and don't accept the violation of such rights'. (ANSAmed)
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