> Veolia constructs light railway linking illegal settlements in occupied Palestine
Numerous Palestinian communities have been destroyed during the construction of the 'Apartheid Wall' - now compounded by the Light Railway.
"We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians."
"We identify with the PLO because just like ourselves they are fighting for the right of self-determination," [source]
links: occupied Palestine
Since this article was written, Veolia has completely pulled out of the Israeli market after losing an estimated £16 billion in contracts due to the international boycott.
Veolia in Israel
Veolia constructs light railway linking occupied territories - in breach of international law.
Veolia helped build (as part of the City Pass consortium) the £280 million Jerusalem Light Railway. It originally planned to operate the railway, but pulled out due to pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. It still owns 5% of the operating company City Pass. While Veolia has promised to sell this stake, it still has not done so.
The Jerusalem Light Railway links the Pisgat Ze'ev illegal settlement in north-eastern Jerusalem, along municipal road number 1, through the city centre, Jaffa St., the western entrance to the city, to Mount Herzl.
So far, there have been 65 United Nations Security Council and General Assembly resolutions passed against Israeli actions; in particular resolution 446 declaring that settlements on the West Bank and Gaza to be illegal. The articles of the Geneva Convention clearly show that no state should transfer a part of its population onto a territory that it occupies, and stipulates that all signatories of the Geneva Convention are bound to stop any company that helps carry out this process. Veolia will therefore be aiding and abetting this breach of international law.
The 'Apartheid Wall' forces the Palestinian people into a series of enclaves
Ever since the formation of the Israeli state in 1948 with its numerous massacres, expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians and the systematic destruction of more than 400 villages, Israel has maintained a callous and brutal policy towards the Palestinian people. This has been shown more recently by the building of the 8 metre high 'Apartheid Wall' (120 kms of it in Jerusalem alone). The purpose of the Wall is to annexe more Palestinian territory and to enlarge the illegal Israeli settlements. The Wall has sliced through villages and neighbourhoods annexing large areas of fertile land (including the aquifer system that provides most of the Palestinians' water). On completion of the Wall, the Palestinians will be left in a series of disjointed enclaves linked by a substandard, aging road network interrupted by checkpoint bottlenecks.
The Veolia light railway links illegal settlements
The contrast between the ghettoization of the Palestinian people - and the expansion of the illegal Israeli settlements is crystal-clear. Alongside the destruction of Palestinian communities comes the massive Israeli investment in the infrastructure that will link the illegal settlements. This is where the light railway comes into this equation. The railway has been built on stolen Palestinian land and links Jerusalem to the illegal settlements in the West Bank. So while Israeli's expansion is in direct breach of the Geneva Convention and multiple United Nations' resolutions and has been the subject of international condemnation (though ignored by the UK and US media), Veolia has, characterisically, disregarded all legal and moral objections, and went ahead with this universally condemned project.
Palestinian organisations have called for boycotts, demonstrations and actions against Connex Veolia businesses. Even if Veolia eventually pulls out of the railway, its part in bringing about this project will clearly always remain.
> Veolia constructs light railway linking illegal settlements in