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press release
Date of issue: 22nd April 2013
For immediate release
G4S withdrawal from selected contracts with Israel won’t end its complicity in abuses of Palestinian human rights
Responding to the Financial Times article confirming that G4S is planning to leave some Israeli contracts following protests, Sarah Colborne, Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), said:
‘G4S is clearly feeling the heat of the protests [see information], with its announcement that it will not renew some contracts inside Israeli prisons and checkpoints. But even after these contracts end, G4S will still be providing services to Israeli prisons where Palestinians are held illegally, in breach of the Geneva Convention. Campaigners across the UK are targeting bids and tendering processes to oppose bids being awarded to G4S.
One such focus is the £80m security contract with the BBC, with prominent cultural figures joining the campaign to exclude G4S from bidding. Support is growing, with the Scottish TUC voting just last week to make G4S a target. Protests were held around the country on 17th April to coincide with Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign will continue to build the campaign against G4S until it respects Palestinian human rights, and withdraws from business in Israel and Occupied Palestine.’

G4S has announced the ending of its contract to one Israeli prison in the occupied West Bank – Ofer – but not its contracts for servicing other prisons or detention facilities in the West Bank and Israel, including Ketziot and Megiddo prisons, and the notorious detention facilities of Jerusalem (Russian compound) and Kishon (Jalameh). Holding Palestinians from the West Bank in detention facilities inside Israel, is in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the transfer of these prisoners from the territory that is being occupied. Many prisoners, including children, receive either limited or no family visits, due to freedom of movement restrictions. In the case of children, this also violates their rights under article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Reports of physical violence and torture of Palestinian prisoners are commonplace.
Currently over 4,743 Palestinians are detained by Israel; 10 of them women, 193 of them children. 178 are held underadministrative detention, a policy that Israel uses to hold Palestinians on secret information indefinitely without charging them or allowing them to stand trial.
G4S was quoted in the Financial Times as announcing that “Having conducted a review in 2011, we concluded that, to ensure that G4S Israel business practices remain in line with our own business ethics policy, we would aim to exit the contracts which involve the servicing of security equipment at a small number of barrier checkpoints, a prison and a police station in the West Bank”. G4S suggests it will end some contracts in 2015. That means the company will continue to service facilities for another 3 years despite its business with those facilities failing to meet G4S’s own business ethics policy.
notes for the editor
  1. For more information about protests about G4S:https://palestinecampaign.org/palestinian-prisoners-day/
  2. for an interactive map showing where G4S operating: http://boikottisrael.no/node/211


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