British construction company JCB is complicit in Israel’s grave human rights violations against the Palestinian people. JCB’s diggers, excavators and other machinery are routinely used by Israel to demolish Palestinian homes and build illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory – in flagrant violation of international law.
And now UK government watchdog, the UK National Contact Point, has found JCB to be in breach of its human rights responsibilities. JCB failed to undertake “human rights due diligence” checks over how its equipment was used in Palestine – despite JCB being aware of the potential ‘human rights impacts’.
The threat of forced displacement is ever-present for many Palestinian communities living throughout Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. Israel’s systematic, forced displacement of the Palestinian people is a war crime, and central to its settler colonial project. Today, Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people is carried out through mass displacement —Palestinian homes and infrastructure are demolished and Palestinian land is seized, with Israeli settlements constructed in their place. These practices, and their constant threat, aim to extend Israeli control of Palestinian territory, resources and population.
Israel’s crimes are facilitated by corporations, including JCB, which provide the equipment and materials necessary for Israel’s illegal home demolition and settlement construction projects. JCB is named in the UN Human Rights Council’s database of businesses involved in Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise, one of three British companies listed. JCB is profiting from the destruction of Palestinian lives and playing an active role in Israel’s ethnic cleansing.
Israel’s occupation and apartheid regime is made possible by the complicity of businesses and states worldwide. Businesses should never profit from human rights violations. The UK government must end its complicity with Israel’s settlement enterprise and hold businesses – including JCB – to account. Demand that the UK government bans illegal settlement trade and establishes a new law to hold companies liable when they fail to uphold their human rights responsibilities.