Since the occupation of the Palestinian territories in 1967, Israel has used its military rule to the advantage of Israeli corporations and economic interests, many times to the detriment of the Palestinian economy under its control.
BY WHO PROFITS
Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry
Posted by Bulatlat
Since the occupation of the Palestinian territories in 1967, Israel has used its military rule to the advantage of Israeli corporations and economic interests, many times to the detriment of the Palestinian economy under its control. All Palestinian imports and exports have been controlled, restricting the competition with Israeli producers, and making the Palestinian consumer market into a captive market for Israeli goods. Regulatory and effective restrictions were imposed on the development of businesses that could compete with Israeli industries, and all basic and utility services were routed through Israeli firms. The Paris accords’ customs union continued the same decades-long policy imposed on the Palestinians.
Severe restrictions on movement of Palestinian labor and products inside the occupied territories and to neighboring areas have further increased the dependency of the Palestinian economy on Israeli companies as employers and retailers. The growing network of checkpoints and walls has all but destroyed Palestinian local production and the Palestinian labor bargaining power.
Israeli companies have a relative high concentration of capital, freedom of movement and favorable legal conditions. When operating in the occupied territories they also enjoy special governmental support, access to cheap resources, tax incentives, and a very lax enforcement of labor laws and environmental protection laws. These advantages often result in the exploitation of Palestinian labor, Palestinian natural resources and the Palestinian consumer market.
The Economic Exploitation section of the database is, in a way, the most important part of our mapping of occupation-related profits. However, this is also the section which is hardest to map. Almost all Israeli companies involved with the Palestinian economy gain direct or indirect advantages from the actions of the Israeli authorities or from the special conditions of the occupation, and thus exploit the Palestinian economy. Therefore, the companies that we list below serve only as examples of the different types of structural advantages of Israeli companies in the framework of the Israeli occupation.
Exploitation of Palestinian Labor
Israeli employers of Palestinian workers in the West Bank directly benefit from employing people under conditions of occupation. Restrictions on Palestinian movement limit the workers’ employment choices, and the workers’ dependency on security permits makes organizing almost impossible. Palestinian workers have no effective legal redress, and labor laws are not enforced.