According to a new report presented to the United Nations Security Council, Israeli diamond traders buy and sell diamonds from the war-torn Ivory Coast of western Africa, getting diamonds at a cheaper price because they are obtained through brutal force.Israel’s Diamond Controller Shmuel Morderchai denied the report, saying that Israel has never done business in the Ivory Coast.
Israeli diamond traders have in the past come under fire for their dealings with the South African Apartheid regime, long after the rest of the world had condemned and isolated South Africa for its racist practices against the African majority.
The new report on diamond trading in the Ivory Coast was presented this week to the UN Security Council as part of an investigation on international compliance with sanctions imposed four years ago against the diamond trade in that region.
The report called on the Israeli government to ‘investigate fully the possible involvement of Israeli nationals and companies in the illegal export of Ivorian rough diamonds’.
Other nations named in the report as possibly being out of compliance with the sanctions were Guinea, Liberia, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates.
Israeli officials told reporters that they may lodge a formal complaint during an upcoming meeting on the diamond trade in Namibia November 2 – 5.