Dutch Pension Fund Breaks With Five Israeli Banks

The Dutch pension fund PGGM , one of the largest in the Netherlands , has terminated its collaboration with five Israeli banks due to their activities in the colonies in the Palestinian territories , announced Wednesday.

” PGGM has recently decided not to invest in five Israeli banks : Bank Hapoalim , Bank Leumi , First International Bank of Israel , Israel Discount Bank and Bank Mizrahi Tefahot ,” the group said in a statement. PGGM , says managing 153,000 million euros , follow the steps to another fellow giant Vitens , just over a month ago made ​​a similar decision . This water company announced in early December that it was suspending its cooperation with the Israeli company Mekorot water distribution for the “political context ” . Mekorot , which supplies water to settlements in the West Bank , was accused of discriminating against Palestinians access to water .

PGGM said he tried to talk to the five Israeli banks “because of his involvement in the financing of ISRALIES settlements in the occupied territories.” ” Since there is no prospect of change in the near future,” PGGM has stopped investing in these five banks from January 1. For PGGM , the settlements are a problem because “they are considered illegal from the point of view of international humanitarian law ,” he added .

“In addition , international observers have indicated that the colonies are an important solution to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict obstacle ,” the fund, which ensures that maintains dialogue with a small group of other Israeli companies on the same problem .

According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, PGGM investments only amounted to a “tens of millions of euros” but this decision could be disastrous ” for the image of the banks” and encourage other companies in Europe to follow suit .
The boycott of Israeli companies sound has garnered success recently encouraging for developers but that concern for Israel fears that these practices can be generalized .

Last December, during the visit of Dutch Prime Minister of Israel , Mark Rutte , installing a scanner on the border with the Gaza Strip and caused friction in relations between the two countries.