France warned companies over consequences of doing business in Israeli illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian lands.
The French Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that any economic activities in settlements built on occupied Palestinian land will carry legal and economic risks, Al-Alam reported.
“Due to the fact that the settlements are illegal in international law, the performance of financial activity in the settlements such as money transfers, investments, acquisition of property, provision of supplies or the performance of any other economic activities that benefit the settlements involves risks,” the statement said.
The ministry also urged companies and citizens considering doing business in the Israeli settlements to obtain appropriate legal advice in advance.
“This involves risk to the image of those who carry out such economic activity… We call upon citizens or businesspeople who are considering becoming involved in economic activity in the settlements to seek appropriate legal advice before going ahead.”
International criticism is growing against Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied West Bank, East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the Golan Heights.
A French diplomat says the move is part of a joint act by the five European Union countries — Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Spain.
Britain and Germany issued similar warnings several months ago, while Italy and Spain will join them in the coming days.
Tel Aviv’s expansionist policies have long been considered as an obstacle in the so-called peace talks between Israel and Palestine.
Over the past decades, Israel has tried to change the demographic makeup of al-Quds by constructing illegal settlements, destroying historical sites, and expelling the local Palestinian population.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories 47 years ago.
Israel occupied and then annexed the West Bank and East al-Quds in the Six-Day War of 1967, but the move has never been recognized by the international community.