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NGOs urge Belgian firm to abandon Israel port project

May 16, 2014 8:21 P.M. (Updated: May 17, 2014 6:21 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A group of Palestinian and international NGOs have urged a Belgian firm to pull out of a project to build port facilities in Israel, citing concerns about Israel's continued human rights violations.

On Wednesday, the Palestinian BDS National Committee published an open letter on its website urging the Belgian Jan De Nul Group to reconsider involvement in a project to build new port facilities in Haifa and Ashdod.

According to the group, two other unnamed European firms are already believed to have pulled out of the bidding due to boycott pressure fears.

The open letter stated that "by constructing and operating ports that facilitate the movement of produce from illegal Israeli settlements and weaponry used in Israeli massacres, the Jan De Nul Group would be be making a political decision to become deeply complicit with Israel's violations of international law and Israel’s oppression of Palestinian rights."

"As such, the Jan De Nul Group would become a legitimate target for popular boycotts, protests and campaigns aimed at persuading governments and private sector bodies not to award your business lucrative contracts."

The letter urged the Jan De Nul Group to abandon its plans to operate port facilities in Israel, saying that the project would "enable Israel to continue to violate international law with impunity."

The letter was signed by the following NGOs:

Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee, Palestine

Kuwait Democratic Forum, Kuwait

Women Cultural Social & Society, Kuwait

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Kuwait, Kuwait

Freedom Now Association, Morocco

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Morocco, Morocco

Union nationale des ingenieurs Unim (National Union of Moroccan Engineers), Morocco

The Moroccan Association for Human Rights, Morocco

Solidarité Maroc Palestine, Morocco

Algemene Centrale van het ABVV, Belgium

Intal, Belgium

Vredesactie, Belgium

Palestina Solidariteit vzw, Belgium

Nordine Saïdi pour le Mouvement Citoyen Palestine, BelgiumLe Comité Verviers Palestine, Belgium

Comité pour une Paix Juste au Proche Orient, Luxembourg
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