In a significant victory for the global Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, French companies Veolia and Alstom have dropped out of the Jerusalem light rail project due to sustained pressure from Palestine solidarity groups. The companies were contracted by the Israeli government to construct and manage the tramway linking Jerusalem to several illegal Israeli settlement colonies in the occupied West Bank.
The Associated Press reported on 28 November that Yoni Yitzhak, the spokesperson for Veolia Israel, "denied the company had succumbed to political pressures," saying that "[a]ll decisions by Veolia Israel are based on financial, not political, considerations ("French firm drops out of Israeli light rail project," 28 November 2010).
However, a spokesperson for Dan bus lines, an Israeli company that hoped to secure the contract after Veolia dropped out, said that Veolia had told Dan executives that the company had decided to end its involvement in the Jerusalem light rail project specifically because of the mounting BDS campaigns and political pressure, according to the Associated Press report.
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Dec 4, 2010
Posted by Farah at 8:02 AM