One of the largest security companies operating in Israel said Sunday it would not renew a number of important contracts, in response to tension over its activities in the West Bank.
Britain- and Denmark-based G4S, which has come under heavy pressure from pro-Palestinian activists, said it would let expire contracts to provide screening equipment at the Ofer Military prison near Ramallah, at West Bank checkpoints and at a police station in the contentious E-1 area east of Jerusalem, the Financial Times reported Sunday.
The contracts run out in 2015.
“Having conducted a review in 2011, we concluded that, to ensure that G4S Israel business practices remain in line with our own business ethics policy, we would aim to exit the contracts which involve the servicing of security equipment at a small number of barrier checkpoints, a prison and a police station in the West Bank are,” the firm told the paper.
One of the largest security firms in the world, G4S provides screening and other services to a number of Israeli organizations, including CCTV cameras installed in Tel Aviv, screening equipment used in the prison system, and security for courts.
The company’s dealings with Israel, especially over the Green Line, have drawn widespread condemnation. Last week, the Scottish Trades Union Congress voted to support a boycott of the firm. The move came days after a group of 19 NGOs from the Arab world called on Europe and the Middle East to end its dealings with G4S.
A statement from the NGOs said the multinational did “not comply with the Palestinians’ demands to stop its involvement in Israel’s crimes and violations of human rights and its involvement in Israeli apartheid,” Daily News Egypt reported.
The move to not renew the contracts with likely be seen as a coup for boycott divest and sanction activists, who call for the boycotting and divestment of all companies that deal with Israel.
However, the firm said it would continue to operate its contracts within the Green Line. The company currently employs 6,000 people in Israel.