Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pressure mounts on companies involved with illegal tramway

Adri Nieuwhof, The Electronic Intifada, 3 April 2008

"Recently the French engineering and consulting company Egis Rail joined European companies Veolia Transport and Alstom in their tramway project being built on Palestinian land in Jerusalem. Alstom won the construction bid in 2000 and two years later Veolia Transport obtained the operating rights. The tramway will connect the ring of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank with Jerusalem, for which Palestinian land is being confiscated, on top of other violations of international law.......

It is clear that the pressure on Veolia to withdraw from the tramway in East Jerusalem is building up. The effect will not be lost on the management of Veolia. The image that it meets the needs of people and sustainable development is at the heart of the company. The tramway in East Jerusalem is a hindrance to the basic need of the indigenous Palestinians to exercise their right to self-determination. A key value of Veolia is supposed to be responsibility. Veolia states on its website, "We are aware of the impact our everyday actions have in improving the living conditions of people worldwide. We never forget how our business affects our employees and society as a whole and base our actions on our understanding of the general public interest." Being Israel's partner in crime, however, reveals a completely different image of Veolia."

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