Activists Hoist 'Barbed-Wire Beach' for TripAdvisor to End Dealing With Operators in Israeli Settlements

Published January 31st, 2019 - 08:56 GMT
Barbed wire beach (Twitter)
Barbed wire beach (Twitter)

Rights campaigners set up a "barbed-wire beach" outside the London headquarters of TripAdvisor on Wednesday, in an attempt to draw attention to the online travel company's dealings with hotel operators inside illegal Israeli settlements.

Braving British winter weather, human rights campaigners wore swimwear and lounged on Amnesty-branded deckchairs in front of a fake beach erected in central London.

Coils of barbed-wire and a "No Palestinians allowed" sign surrounded the mock beach, as upbeat holiday music played throughout the 10-15 minute stunt.

 

"We're here to advise TripAdvisor that they need to check out of the illegal Israeli settlements," Kate Allen, Amnesty's UK director, said.

"Holidays are supposed to be fun, not part of a wider system of human rights abuse," she said.

"Along with Airbnb, Expedia and Booking.com, TripAdvisor should stop this tainted trade in the settlement holiday business."

Earlier on Wednesday, the UK-based rights watchdog released a report which revealed that digital tourism giants Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia and TripAdvisor were profiting from "war crimes" by offering services in Israeli settlements.

Amnesty's "Destination: Occupation" study called on the companies to stop listing tourist accommodation, activities and attractions in settlements in occupied territories, including East Jerusalem.

"They are doing so despite knowing that Israel's occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is governed by international humanitarian law under which Israeli settlements are deemed illegal," said the report.

"In doing business with settlements, all four companies are contributing to, and profiting from, the maintenance, development and expansion of illegal settlements, which amount to war crimes under international criminal law."

About 450,000 Israelis live in West Bank settlements often in confrontation with the territory's 2.5 million Palestinians, in addition to 200,000 living in settlements in occupied east Jerusalem.

Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law and major roadblocks to peace, as they are built on land Palestinians see as part of their future state.

Israel responded to the Amnesty report by threatening to ban the rights group from access to the country.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


Copyright @ 2019 The New Arab.

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