World’s largest security firm pulls out of Israel

24th Mar 2016
World’s largest security firm pulls out of Israel

The global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement say G4S decision to leave Israel is due to its sustained four year global campaign (Photo: Creative Commons)

Elham Asaad Buaras

The world’s largest security firm is selling its entire business in Israel in a move that it said on was for “commercial reasons.” The global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement say G4S decision to leave Israel is due to its sustained four year global campaign which also resulted in French multinationals Veolia and Orange selling off their Israeli businesses.

G4S made the announcement that it was leaving Israel on March 9, as it published its 2015 business review.

A spokesman for the British firm said, “We have now got 65 businesses that since 2013 that have been identified for sale or closure, so Israel is actually just one of those.” He denied it was due to boycott pressure. “It is an entirely commercial decision,” he said.

War on Want campaigners protest outside the G4S Annual General Meeting in London on 4 June 2015.

Still, investors in G4S have faced criticism from anti-Israel activists who say the firm is complicit in Israeli human rights abuses within the prisons. The Palestinian Authority has previously accused Israeli forces of torturing Palestinian prisoners.

The Bill Gates Foundation sold its $170 million stake in G4S in 2014 after BDS pressure protests. The BDS movement says that UNICEF in Jordan has also ended its contracts with G4S in recent weeks.

The campaign, which advocates applying economic and political pressure on Israel to achieve equal rights for Palestinians in the country and calls for an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, said that its tactics are paying off.

Spokesman for the Palestinian BDS National Committee, Mahmoud Nawajaa, said, “As at the height of the international boycott of apartheid South Africa, BDS pressure is making some of the world’s largest corporations realise that profiting from Israeli apartheid and colonialism is bad for business, we are starting to notice a domino effect”.

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