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Veolia Environment involved in the construction of illegal tramway in occupied East Jerusalem

Palestine solidarity groups from many countries are increasingly putting pressure on financial groups to disinvest from Veolia Environment, company involved in the construction of the illegal tramway in occupied East Jerusalem.

Activists based in Basel, Switzerland demanded Bank Sarasin to divest from Veolia Environnement in early June (2008), because of its involvement in the illegal tramway being built by Israel that runs through occupied East Jerusalem. Within a month Bank Sarasin replied with a five-page response, to explain its long standing practice of assessing its sustainable investments. In its letter, Bank Sarasin referenced articles published by The Electronic Intifada, and stated that while it "is completely aware that the project in East Jerusalem is significant from a local perspective," it evaluates Veolia from the perspective of its worldwide activities.

Customers and investors increasingly want their bank to be serious about sustainability and corporate responsibility. Dutch ASN Bank and SNS Bank, and Swiss ABS and Bank Sarasin have sent clear signals to Veoila, and its stubbornness will only serve to draw the attention of more financial institutions. How long will it be before Veolia Environnement gets the message that the Israeli tramway being built on confiscated Palestinian land is illegal and that the company, just like Alstom before it, must withdraw from the project? One thing is certain, until they do, Palestine solidarity activists will continue to hold them, and the financial institutions which invest in them, accountable for their continued support of the illegal occupation and settlement of Palestinian land.

Veloia is involved in many engineering and transport project, for example the re-development of the public transport in Barcelona, with the construction of two light rail systems. Search for presence of Veloia in your local area, like financial institutions who have investments on it or where the company is part of a project and contributes to increase the international pressure against this corporation profiteering from the occupation of Palestine.

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