A “security company” owned by an Israeli general who once fled the UK fearing a war crimes arrest boasts of major Palestinian and foreign firms in Ramallah as its clients.
The firm, Netacs Ltd., was founded and is co-owned by reserve Major-General Danny Rothschild, who commanded Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank in the 1990s.
Rothschild, who has defended the use of torture, also commanded Israeli occupation forces in southern Lebanon and worked in military intelligence.
Among the clients Rothschild’s firm lists on its website is the Palestinian conglomerate PADICO, which owns large swathes of the Palestinian economy, and whose chairman is the billionaire Munib Masri.
In 2011, Rothschild cut short a visit to London after warnings that he could be arrested in relation to war crimes.
Other clients Rothschild’s firm lists include the Ramallah Mövenpick hotel, the Bank of Jordan, Jordan Ahli Bank, Cairo Amman Bank, the Palestinian “security firm” Pal-Safe, Google and Colombia’s Bogota international airport.
In addition to security, Netacs advertises services including “Business Facilitation” and “Establishment of National Intelligence Organizations.”
Dealings date back to beginning of Oslo
Rothschild’s dealings date back to the early years of the Oslo accords, the 20th anniversary of which will be marked this week.
As Peter Lagerquist wrote in the Journal of Palestine Studies in 2003, Rothschild set up his firm in 1995, along with another officer, Gadi Zohar, and an intelligence agent named Samuel Ettinger.
Ettinger is still listed as an owner of Netacs. According to Lagerquist, “their business was based on privileged access both to the PA and the Israeli security establishment.”
In other words, they are occupation profiteers who peddle their influence with the occupation to help out Palestinian businessmen.
Zohar claimed to have very good relations with the PA and the Palestinian security services, as well as with PADICO, Paltel and other firms in Ramallah.
Netacs also worked for the now-defunct Casino near Jericho.
Close business ties
Another co-owner of Netacs is the Israeli army’s Lt. Colonel Avi Nudelman, who also heads the Israeli-Palestinian Chamber of Commerce (IPCC).
The IPCC is a body that prominent Palestinian businessmen, such as Rawabi developer Bashar Masri, and various PA figures, have worked closely with to help Israeli firms penetrate the Palestinian economy and profit even further from occupation.
“Worst forms of normalization”
Last year, the Palestinian Boycott National Committee censured PADICO’s Munib Masri for his close business ties to Israel, especially with Israeli tycoon Rami Levy, who builds supermarkets in illegal settlements.
The statement said:
The warm relations between a segment of Palestinian capitalists and Israeli capitalists, details of which have recently emerged, is one of the worst forms of normalization which provides the [Israeli] occupation a fig leaf to cover up its continued occupation, ethnic cleansing, racism, siege of Gaza, land confiscation and settlement construction, and denial of the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
The employment of Major-General Danny Rothschild by so many Palestinian firms, although apparently not new, has got to be a new low.