The Israeli security firm Hashmira, which is owned by the Danish concern G4S, announced last weekend it will stop providing equipment to security installations over the Green Line.
The move comes in the wake of public pressure in Denmark following a report from the Coalition of Women for Peace, which runs the “Who Profits?” project monitoring Israeli companies operating in the territories.
The report, released in November, says that Hashmira provides baggage scanning equipment and body scanners for the Qalandiya, Bethlehem, Sha’ar Efraim and Eyal checkpoints.
It also provided the Ofer base near Ramallah a peripheral security system installed on the security prison walls, and the central control room for the entire compound, which includes a jail for Palestinian prisoners, a lockup and a military court.
Hashmira also installed a security system for the Judea & Samaria district police headquarters in the E1 area near Ma’aleh Adumim.
The report aroused public criticism in Denmark among several elected officials, including the Danish minister of foreign affairs.
In addition, the city of Copenhagen decided to consider its continued investment in the company.
In 2002, G4S faced public pressure over its acquisition of the Israeli company Hashmira, which then provided security services to settlements, including armed guards.
In its announcement G4S said it intends to terminate contracts with security facilities in the territories as soon as possible. The company stated, however, that it recognizes its contractual obligations toward its customers and will take these into account.
The Gaza Truck Drivers Union called strike action against the Israeli decision on 2 March to permanently close the Karni commercial crossing in the Gaza Strip. Citing increased logistics costs and insufficient capacity at the only other commercial crossing left open for Gaza’s trade, the truck drivers’ action has highlighted the fact that, since 2007, Israel has now permanently closed three of the four trade & aid goods crossings into the Gaza Strip – an action in violation of international agreements, and which further seals the Gaza Strip and its 1.5 million Palestinian population off from the rest of the world.
In support of International Transport Federation (ITF) policy which calls for “the opening of facilities to provide land, air and sea points of entry and exit for trade for the Palestinian people free from interference by the Israeli occupying power”, AUSPalestine calls on Australian transport unions to write to the Israeli Ambassador – and copy letters to the Australian Council of Trade Unions, the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), and the Histadrut – to condemn Israel’s actions against the Palestinian people which severely limit their legitimate access to trade and economic relations with the outside world and to demand Israel’s compliance with international agreements and immediately open all commercial crossings into the Gaza Strip to allow full economic freedom for the Palestinian people.
In the West Bank, Palestinian unions joined women’s rallies in support International Women’s Day. The Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) utilised this opportunity to launch their national campaign seeking minimum wage and social protections for all Palestinian workers.
In the international union arena, fresh new calls in support of the Palestinian call for BDS against Israel were seen from the largest Brazilian trade union confederation – the Central Única dos Trabalhadores; and the global union federation, Union Network Internation (UNI) – which represents 20 million workers in 900 unions around the world – issued a strong resolution to join the BDS call at its 3rd World Congress in late 2010. UNI affiliates in Australia include the Shop Distributive & Allied Employees Association (SDA), the Finance Sector Union (FSU), the Australian Services Union (ASU), the Media Entertainment Arts Alliance (MEAA), and the Communications, Electrical & Plumbing Union (CEPU).