In a sign that international companies are perhaps starting to realise the potential issues of dealing with Israel, yet another company has pulled out of working with the apartheid state on the troubled light-rail line.
The French transport company Alstom has announced it will withdraw from the project after a series of campaigns by activists and trade unionists against the construction of the line. The Alstom move means that the number of candidates for the second phase of the project has fallen to just two after a Greek consortium failed to table a bid.
The latest withdrawals from the project follow similar moves by French companies Systra and RATP last year and the announcement that Canada’s Bombardier, Australia’s Macquarie and Germany’s Siemens had also pulled their involvement with the project.
In 2018, eight organisations (L’Association France Palestine Solidarité, CFDT, CGT, FIDH, Al-Haq, LDH, l’Union Syndicale Solidaires and the Platform of French NGOs for Palestine) published a report entitled Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem: Three French Companies Involved in Light Rail Construction which urged companies located in France to withdraw from the project. The campaign has so far successfully ensured that two French companies leave the project.
The two remaining companies involved are China’s CRRC and Spain’s CAF, while one remaining French company, Egis, provides planning and consulting services.
Already built illegally on seized Palestinian land, the proposed second phase expansion of the project is intended to connect West Jerusalem with illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, yet a further clear violation of international law by Israel.
The Worldwide Movement For Human Rights (FIDH) has called on European nations and companies remaining with the project to take a firm stance against companies having any involvement in Israeli state policies that promote or assist in the annexation, colonization, and occupation of Palestinian land.