Norwegian pension fund divests from companies linked to Israeli settlements

Norway’s largest pension fund announces it has divested assets in 16 companies for their links to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including telecom equipment giant Motorola.

“Motorola and other companies risk complicity in international law violations in occupied Palestine,” KLP, which manages some 95 billion dollars (80 billion euros) worth of assets, says in a statement.

The divestment follows the February 2020 UN publication of a list of 112 companies with activities linked to Israeli settlements, considered illegal under international law.

Israel’s government has denounced the publication of the list — which included companies like Airbnb, Expedia, Motorola and Tripadvisor — as a “contemptible effort.”

The West Bank settlement of Beitar Illit, with the Palestinian village of Wadi Fukin in the valley below, June 17, 2015. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

“Divesting from Motorola Solutions was a very straightforward decision over its surveillance role in the occupied territories,” KLP says, arguing the company provides software used in border surveillance.

KLP also divests telecom operators offering services within the West Bank as they contribute to making “the settlements attractive residential areas.” These include Bezeq, Cellcom Israel and Partner Communications, and Altice Europe — which was delisted from the Amsterdam stock exchange in January.

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