The Belgian-French Group, Dexia, refused to finance grants meant for the construction of property in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. The decision came after a Palestinian and a Belgium groups filed a petition against financing settlement constructions.Moayyad Affana, coordinator of the twin-project of the Intellectuals Forum in the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, and the Artists Against the Wall in Belgium, said that the two groups sent several letters to Dexia group urging them to reject financing constructions in Jewish settlements.
Affana thanked the Artists Against the Wall for defending the rights of the Palestinian people and for highlighting the suffering of the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.
He also thanked the Dexia group for its decision as Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are illegal and violate the international law.
Khaled Jaber, head of the Intellectual Forum in Qalqilia, also thanked the Dexia group for its decision and called on European institutions to practice pressure on Israel to stop the construction of settlements in the occupied territories.
It is worth mentioning that the partnership between the Intellectuals Group and the Artists Against the Wall started five years ago.
Several summer camps were held in the West Bank as part of this partnership in addition to conducting several other projects for children, short documentaries, and training programs for in Qalqilia and in Brussels.
Yet, Israeli sources claimed that officials of the Bank in Israel rejected the claims that the decision was made due to pressure from what the Israeli National News described as “pro-Arab groups”.
The campaign against construction in Jewish settlements forced the shareholders to discuss this issue in Brussels last March.
The Israeli National News reported that the Dexia group rejected a demand to stop lending money to the Jerusalem Municipality for the construction of settlements in and around the city.
Shmuel Rifman, head of the illegal Ramat Ha-Negev council, urged all regional councils in Israel to boycott the Dexia group for its decision.t
Member of Knesset, Uri Ariel of the National Union Party, demanded the Israeli Finance Minister to act against the Dexia Bank in Israel for its decision.
He also called for revoking the license of the Bank and the agreement signed between it and Israel to finance ‘local authorities’ such as municipalities and settlement councils.
Even the so-called “local authorities” in Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, including in occupied East Jerusalem, are illegal and violate the International Law.
All Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and in occupied West Jerusalem violate the Fourth Geneva Convention and constitute a war crime.