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Israeli banks entrenched in settlement building

Posted by on Nov. 20, 2009 at 12:22 AM
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 Several Western pension funds and financial managers hold shares in two Israeli banks: Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi. Both banks operate in and offer loans to finance illegal settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories.

Bank Hapoalim, Israel's largest bank, was established in 1921 by the Israeli trade union Histadrut and the World Zionist Organization. It was nationalized in 1983 but privatized again in 1996. Founded in 1902 and originally named the Anglo-Palestine Bank, Bank Leumi is Israel's second-largest bank. Both banks have branches in the settlements of Gilo and Pisgat Ze'ev, located in the occupied West Bank. Bank Hapoalim also has branches in the Ramot settlement in occupied East Jerusalem as well as the occupied Golan Heights. Meanwhile, Bank Leumi maintains branches in the settlements of Ma'ale Adumim, Oranit, Kiryat Arba, all in the occupied West Bank, and Katzrin in the Golan Heights.

Israel's settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and the Syrian Golan Heights violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the Occupying Power to deport or transfer parts of its civilian population into the territory it occupies. Therefore, the local branches of the two banks in these settlements are illegal as well.

Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi are involved in other violations of international law by providing mortgages to settlers for the purchase of property in the settlements. On 12 July 2009 the Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon reported that Bank Hapoalim provides mortgages throughout the country, including in the occupied West Bank. The newspaper also revealed that a Jerusalem branch of Bank Leumi offered mortgages to purchase homes in Israeli settlements without any issues. Indeed, Bank Leumi's willingness to assist settlers in buying property is also openly advertised on a billboard in Zufin settlement. Zufin was built on land seized from the Palestinian village of Jayyus, located in the West Bank.

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10856.shtml?utm_source=MailingList&utm_medium=email&utm_content=BDS+Newsletter+%2320

by on Nov. 20, 2009 at 12:22 AM
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tericared
by on Nov. 20, 2009 at 1:30 AM

Illegal is what they do best... 

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