Dutch mulling legal action against Booking.com over settlement listings

Dutch prosecutors are looking into a criminal complaint against Booking.com over its listing of rental properties in Israeli settlements, they say.

Dutch nonprofit organization SOMO says it filed the complaint with the Dutch public prosecutor in November, together with three other human rights groups, but has not gone public with it before.

The groups accuse Booking.com of “profiting from war crimes by facilitating the rental of vacation homes on land stolen from the indigenous Palestinian population.”

SOMO said research shows that Booking’s platform offered up to 70 listings for properties in East Jerusalem and the West Bank between 2021 and 2023.

Revenues acquired from renting out those properties are “proceeds of criminal activities,” and that by booking these proceeds in the Netherlands the company is violating Dutch anti-money laundering rules, it argues.

Prosecutors were studying the complaint, but could not give a timeline for a decision on possible further steps, spokesperson Brechje van de Moosdijk says.

Booking rejects the allegations and says there are no laws prohibiting listings in Israeli settlements, while a range of US state laws would prohibit divesting from the region.

“Legal action has been taken against other companies that have tried to withdraw their activities, and we would expect the same to happen in our case,” a spokesperson for the company says.

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