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Ashrawi: Dutch boycott reminds Israel 'it isn't above the law'

Jan. 8, 2014 7:29 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 10, 2014 4:26 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A decision by the largest pension fund management company in the Netherlands to withdraw all investments from Israel's five largest banks "made Israel realize that it isn't above the law," a PLO official said Wednesday.

Executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi told Ma'an that the Dutch decision was influenced by the European Union's boycott of Israeli settlements, which the EU views as illegal.

Ashrawi said she was glad that civil society organizations and government institutions in Europe had begun to take practical measures, instead of merely releasing condemnation statements as in the past.

The Dutch pension fund management company PGGM withdrew its funds from Israel's five largest banks on Jan. 1, according to Israeli media.

Haaretz reported that the company's investments in Israeli banks only amount to "a few tens of millions of euros," but that its decision threatens to damage the banks' image, influencing other European companies to take similar action.

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