Canada to consider settlements suit

Palestinians sue two Canadian companies they say are aiding settlement construction.

    Bilin has been a flashpoint for protests against
    the Israeli separation wall and settlements [AFP]

    The suit is said to mark the first time a private company has been sued for investing in Israeli settlements, which are considered illegal under international law.

    Bilin, a small village of about 1,700 inhabitants east of the West Bank city of Ramallah, has been the centre of protests against the Israeli separation wall.

    Al Jazeera's Nour Odeh in Ramallah says that many in Bilin hope the petition will add momentum to growing international calls for a complete Israeli freeze on settlements.

    Nassir Samarah from the Popular Committees Against the Wall organisation told Al Jazeera that the suit was aimed at stopping "international occupation" of the territory by the two companies.

    "We are aiming that all these companies stop the illegal construction – to withdraw all their investment in the land of Palestine because they are working in Palestinian land. They are the same as the [Israeli] occupiers," he said.

    However, Ronald Levy, the lawyer representing the two companies, told the Canadian Jewish News last week that he considers the suit "a media exercise intended to besmirch Israel".

    "The fact that the companies are registered in Quebec is irrelevant," he said.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.