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Ashrawi praises Dutch water firm for cutting Israel ties
Published Monday 16/12/2013 (updated) 17/12/2013 12:00
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(MaanImages/Charlie Hoyle)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- PLO official Hanan Ashrawi on Monday praised the Dutch firm Vitens after it decided last week to end its partnership with Israeli water company Mekorot.

"Vitens should be praised for turning its principled position into positive action," Ashrawi said in a statement.

Last week, Vitens said it had come to the conclusion that it was "extremely hard" to work with Mekorot on future projects "because they cannot be taken out of the political context."

Israeli deputy Foreign minister Zeev Elkin said he was "blindsided" by the pullout "and a few more European companies have made similar decisions in the past months, which have blindsided us exactly in parallel with the peace process.”

Ashrawi said Vitens' decision was "necessary and moral" and a significant step.

"I also commend the Dutch government for its clear official policy on discouraging economic links with the illegal Israeli settlement enterprise, which is in line with domestic, European and international law."

The PLO official also welcomed recent guidelines published by the United Kingdom's Department of Trade and Industry which warned businesses about the risks of economic links to Israeli settlements.

"We hope that the British government will now follow in a similar vein to the Dutch government, by advising British companies to end cooperation with settlements," she said.

"Such steps demonstrate integrity and respect for international law. They distinguish Israel from its illegal activities over the Green Line and therefore help to realize the two-state solution, which the international community endorses, and in which it has invested heavily."

In November, Palestinian rights group Al-Haq called on EU member states to take tougher measures to ensure that public and private national bodies do not provide support to violent settler groups in the occupied West Bank.

A legal adviser from the group told Ma'an that EU states should investigate individuals or groups which provide support to violent settler groups or settlements as they could be held liable for "committing offenses under their domestic laws on organized crime and financing of acts of terror."

EU guidelines prohibiting financial cooperation with Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are due to take effect on Jan. 1.

The guidelines, issued in July, raised a storm in Israel and were denounced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as "an external diktat about our borders."
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1 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
16/12/2013 17:48
It's time for Ashrawi to grow up and for her and the PA to join the 21st century. Stop talking hatred, war and boycotts and start making peace. Either that, or she can rot in jail after the ICC finds her guilty of being part of the Palestinian leadership that ordered bombings and shootings that killed thousands of Israeli civilians. Ashrawi is just another PA war criminal.

2 ) Carlos / usa
16/12/2013 19:46
the only obstruction to peace is israels policy of discrimination, ethnic cleansing and thievery. The Palestinians have recognized israel and have been in no position to threaten israel while israel continuously threatens, murders and steals.

3 ) carlos / usA
16/12/2013 19:48
I want to congradulate the Dutch for demanding some minimum level of behavior of israel. The brutality of israeli terrorism tremendous.

4 ) Charlie A / Sweden/Gaza
16/12/2013 19:59
Who is talking about hatred?

5 ) Jim / USA
16/12/2013 22:43
@1) Very well said, Brian.

6 ) Julie / USA
16/12/2013 23:10
izrahell delegitimizes itself and can't see the results coming at them head-on. NOT the world's problem. instead of peace, izrael constantly chooses hateful racism, apartheid, brutality, crime, and war-mongering ("iran is close to having a bomb" has been shouted out by izrael for decades, and still NO BOMB in iran)...so let them weep in their putrid criminality, they've brought this upon themselves 100%. hey izrael, good job at self-deligitimization and isolation!! BRAVO!!!!!!! more, more!!!!!

7 ) Rene / US
17/12/2013 03:29
@#1The State of Israel is a war criminal.

8 ) Ben Barka / Tanzania
17/12/2013 08:39
Kudos to Carlos/USA for standing up against the likes of Brian Cohen - ben.barka(at)india.com

9 ) Marie / Palestine
17/12/2013 09:08
Hopefully others countries will emulate the Dutch and force Israel to abide by international law and be accountable for (and make amends) all the illegal abuses it has committed against the Palestinians, and continues to do, without impunity. Is Israel above the law? It's about time.

10 ) Maureen / Australia
18/12/2013 22:14
#1 C'mon Brian Cohen, you know as well as everyone else, Israel does not want peace! Israel uses/stirs conflict as an excuse to steal Palestinian land/culture!
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