Joint press release by AFPS, Al Haq, CCFD-Terre solidaire, CGT, FIDH, LDH, Union syndicale Solidaires, Wednesday 6 January 2016
All the versions of this article: [English] [français]
Our organizations take note of the recent announcement by Partner, an Israeli telecommunications company operating in Israeli settlements, confirming the termination of its brand licensing contract with Orange pursuant to the termination agreement signed between Partner and Orange in June 2015. According to press dispatches, Partner will stop using the Orange brand in February 2016.
This announcement comes eight months after our organizations’ publication of the report "Orange’s dangerous liaisons in the Occupied Palestinian Territory". This report denounced the indirect contribution of the company Orange, via its business relationship with Partner, to the maintenance of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), considered illegal under international law and contributing to numerous violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. This announcement also follows more than five years of pressure and appeals on the part of associations and trade unions for Orange to take concrete measures in order to ensure that it respects human rights.
The termination of the contract binding the two companies is a victory for all defenders of human rights and international law. It also sends a strong message to other companies that have business relationships with settlements: they have a responsibility to ensure that they do not contribute directly or indirectly to the maintenance of Israeli settlements in the OPT.
Our organizations appeal again to the French State which, in compliance with its international human rights obligations, must do more to oversee the actions of companies investing in or engaged in business activities with settlements. The advisory to French businesses issued in June 2014 by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs must be reinforced in this regard, and must make explicit that French companies operating in settlements are exposed to the risks of contributing to international law violations. The advisory must be applied in an effective manner so that companies cease all business relationships with the settlements.