France warns citizens: Don’t invest in Israeli settlements, Golan Heights
Haaretz By Barak Ravid | Jun. 25, 2014
The French government issued a warning to its citizens not to engage in financial activity or investments in the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights. The French Foreign Ministry wrote in its warning that the settlements are illegal according to international law, and so doing business with them involves legal risks.
A French diplomat said that the warning is part of a joint act by the five largest countries in the European Union — Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Spain. The United Kingdom and Germany issued such warnings several months ago, and now, in light of the failure of the talks between Israel and the Palestinians and the European protests over the recent wave of construction in the settlements, three more countries joined them. Italy and Spain are expected to publish similar warnings over the next several days.
The warning was published on the French Foreign Ministry’s website as part of a broader document of recommendations for French people traveling to Israel. “Due to the fact that the settlements are illegal in international law, the performance of financial activity in the settlements such as money transfers, investments, acquisition of property, provision of supplies or the performance of any other economic activities that benefit the settlements involves risks,” the statement read in French.
The announcement states that the settlements had been built on occupied land and that the international community did not recognize them as part of Israel. “This could lead to a high likelihood of land disputes or disagreements regarding water, quarries or other natural resources,” the statement read. “This involves risk to the image of those who carry out such economic activity... We call upon citizens or businesspeople who are considering becoming involved in economic activity in the settlements to seek appropriate legal advice before going ahead.”