Tuesday, 3 December 2013 - 11:11
Dutch government includes Israeli firms in West Bank to business initiative
The Netherlands-Israel Cooperation Forum will take place in Herzliya next week. West Bank / Wikipedia A business mission from the Netherlands, led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, will travel to Israel between December 7 and December 9. They will lead forums in Israel and Ramallah, which will deal with economic cooperation between Holland and Israel, and Holland and the Palestinian Authority, Haaretz reports. But, at least five Israeli companies with ties to the settlements and Israeli rule in the West Bank have been registered to participate in the forums, according to the newspaper. The participation of these Israeli companies contradicts the guidelines set forth by the European Union with regards to cooperation with Israeli companies active in the West Bank, and also runs counter to Dutch policy of discouraging Dutch firms from having business contacts beyond the Green Line, the newspaper said. “The policy of discouragement means that the Dutch government addresses Dutch companies regarding conducting activities in or in the interest of Israeli settlements. The Dutch government does not have the authority to address or control Israeli companies,” Haaretz reports quoting a spokesman for the Dutch Foreign Ministry.