UK urged to ban 'tainted' imports from illegal Israeli settlements on 50th anniversary of Six Day War

'All settlement goods are tainted by illegality', says Amnesty International, as it launches new global campaign

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The Independent Online

Amnesty International has called on the UK to ban the import of all goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements and use its influence to stop human rights abuses against Palestinians.

The rights organisation said such a move would help put an end to “multimillion-pound profits that have fuelled mass human rights violations” against the Palestinians.

To mark the 50th anniversary of Israel's occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, Amnesty has launched a campaign calling on all countries to stop settlement goods from reaching their markets and prevent their companies from operating in settlements or trading in settlement goods.

Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem over the 1967 Green Line is considered illegal under international law and has been condemned by the United Nations and European Union. 

It is also considered a major obstacle to creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Despite this, hundreds of millions of pounds' worth of goods produced in Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian land are exported internationally each year, Amnesty said.

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The organisation also said Israeli and international businesses had enabled and facilitated settlement construction and expansion.

Amnesty accused Britain of “shamefully” standing by as Israel has destroyed Palestinian homes and profited form their land and natural resources.

Settlement goods imported to the UK include oranges, dates, spring water and halva desserts.

Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK, said: “The UK should do the legally and morally right thing and introduce a ban on the import and sale of all goods produced in the Israeli settlements.

“For decades, Britain and the rest of the world has shamefully stood by as Israel has destroyed Palestinians’ homes and plundered their land and natural resources for profit.

“The Israeli settlements are illegal – by extension, all settlement goods are tainted by illegality. The UK should no longer be party to this.”

Far-right Israeli nationalists fly the Israeli flag in Jerusalem’s Old City on Jerusalem Day last month (AFP/Getty)

Amnesty argued Israel's policy of settling Israeli civilians on occupied Palestinian land has led to a wide range of human right violations.

These include displacing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, demolishing tens of thousands of Palestinian homes and properties and appropriating at least 100,000 hectares of Palestinian land.

In addition, Amnesty alleges Israel has also unlawfully seized control of Palestinian natural resources such as water, fertile land, stone quarries and minerals, and diverted these to benefit settlement industries to produce products, materials and goods that are often exported abroad. 

The Independent has contacted the Israeli embassy in London for comment.