Recent research shows that Veolia is involved in “new” Israeli projects in the occupied West Bank. Veolia Water Israel provides services to the illegal settlement of Modi’in Illit, and Veolia Transportation Israel operates a total of seven - instead of four - bus lines that run through Palestinian land.
Who Profits? - a research project of the Israeli Coalition of Women for Peace - uncovered evidence of Veolia’s involvement in “new” Israeli occupation projects by researching the company’s website, official Israeli websites and financial reports.
On its website, Veolia Water Israel writes that its Ayalon Sewage Treatment Plant provides wastewater treatment to several communities, including the Israeli settlement of Modi’in Illit. The illegal Modi’in Illit settlement is situated between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, in the occupied West Bank. Veolia Water Israel is a full subsidiary of Veolia Environnement, according to Who Profits?
Veolia operates three other bus services that run through the West Bank
Last August I reported that Veolia kept silent about two bus services to settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). Veolia had spread the information in the United States that it “does not operate other bus services in the West Bank” besides bus lines 109 and 110. However, Who Profits? found that Veolia operates two other bus services to illegal settlements in the OPT. Bus service 7 runs from Modi’in to the settlements of Hashmonaim and Kfar Ha’Oranim. Veolia also operates bus 19, which runs between Modi’in and the settlement of Mevo Horon.
Recent research by Who Profits? reveals that Veolia also operates three bus lines between Bnei-Brak and Jerusalem that cut through the OPT with stops to serve the settlers. At the end of November 2011, Veolia won a contract to operate bus services for the ultra-orthodox Haredim community. Who Profits? writes in a document sent by email on 25 December (the bus stops in the OPT are listed on the web page in the link to each bus line):
Bus line 422 passes through the OPT in Mahane Ofer junction, Givat Zeev Junction, Sderot Golda Meir, Shefa Haim and Ohel Yehoshua in Jerusalem.
Line 425 passes through the OPT in Mahane Ofer junction, Givat Zeev junction, Sderot Golda Meir and Sderot Vaitzman, Jerusalem.
Line 427 passes through the OPT in Harel interchange and Sderot Vaitzman, Jerusalem.
Jerusalem Light Rail
The Jerusalem Light Rail project is designed by the Israeli authorities to serve the needs of the settlers in the OPT. The light rail provides a fast connection with West Jerusalem. However, Israeli settlements in the OPT and the annexation of East Jerusalem are illegal under international law. Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”
Meanwhile, the light rail appeared as a selling point in an Israel Land Fund advertisement for a building plot in Palestinian Beit Hanina, occupied East Jerusalem. “The plot is located on Highway 60 near the light rail, making it a mere 17 minute train ride from the city center.” The advertisement underlines the importance of the light rail for the Israeli colonization of the West Bank.
The Israel Land Fund sells occupied land in the West Bank and the Golan Heights to offer “every Jew, regardless of location, the opportunity to obtain a portion of the land. House by house, lot by lot, the Israel Land Fund is ensuring the land of Israel stays in the hands of the Jewish people forever” (emphasis added - AN).
The global Derail Veolia and Alstom Campaign calls for boycott and divestment of Veolia for its complicity in Israel’s violations of international law. Veolia holds contracts with the Israeli authorities related to the operation of the Jerusalem Light Rail, the dumping of waste in Tovlan landfill in the Jordan Valley, the operation of Israeli bus services that run in the West Bank, and the treatment of wastewater from Modi’in Illit settlement. The Derail Veolia and Alstom Campaign will keep the two companies under pressure until they no longer benefit from the Israeli colonization and occupation of Palestine.