Dutch probe sends warning to firms abetting Israel’s crimes
This week sees the conclusion of a three-year criminal investigation into the Dutch crane company, Riwal, accused of complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity in the occupied West Bank. The case is unprecedented as it is the first time a company has been criminally investigated for involvement in the Israeli occupation.
Although the case has not resulted in a prosecution, it is nonetheless an important step for those seeking justice for human rights abuses committed against Palestinians. The case sends a clear message to the corporate sector: complicity in Israel’s occupation potentially carries the risk of criminal prosecution.
The case started with a complaint submitted to the Dutch prosecutor by the Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq in March 2010. The complaint documented the involvement of Riwal’s cranes and aerial platforms in constructing Israel’s wall and illegal settlements in the West Bank. It prompted the prosecutor to launch a large-scale investigation into the company’s activities, including a raid on company headquarters in September 2010.