Norway to review Israel investments to ensure they do not fund illegal settlements: report
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is investigating whether its investments in Israel to ensure they do not finance any settlements or businesses operating in the illegally occupied West Bank, according to Israeli officials cited by Haaretz.
The investigation to ensure that Israeli banks do not direct Norway’s investments to Israeli businesses operating on Palestinian territory was first reported by Israel’s Channel 12 news, and has reportedly been underway for several months.
BREAKING: Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, with assets valued at $1.3 trillion, will reportedly end investments in firms tied to apartheid Israel's illegal settlement enterprise in the OPT.— BDS movement (@BDSmovement) December 23, 2022
The decision is influenced by the @UN list of 112 companies tied to settlements. pic.twitter.com/UpSKtX426X
The outgoing government, headed by Yair Lapid, reportedly decided not to make this information public as they feared it would encourage other countries and companies to review their investments.
Norway’s wealth fund invested roughly $1.3 billion in 81 Israeli companies in 2020, amounting to about a third of all its investments in the Middle East.
Israeli officials reportedly said that the investigation was influenced by the UN’s 2020 decision to publish a blacklist of 112 companies suspected of operating in or having connections to illegal settlements. These included popular international businesses such as Booking.com and Tripadvisor, and included Israeli banks and communications firms.
Earlier this year, the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in the Palestinian Territories had urged for the blacklist to be updated.
Israel has occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank since the 1967 Six-Day War when it invaded the territory in a move considered illegal by the international community. The government has since approved or built more than a hundred settlements for hundreds of thousands of settlers on illegally occupied Palestinian land.