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In response to civil society pressure, the French ALSTOM withdrew from Jerusalem Light-Rail Project

May 16th 2019

Following an intense advocacy campaign from civil society in France (*), it is the turn of the French rail transport company Alstom to withdraw from the light rail tender in East Jerusalem.

“The existing light-rail line and the planned extensions aim to connect West Jerusalem with Israeli settlements located on occupied Palestinian territory in East Jerusalem and to favor their illegal development in violation of international law. For this reason, on 13 June 2018, eight organizations published the report "The Jerusalem Light-Rail System and how French Companies Contribute to the Settlement of Occupied Palestinian Territory" and launched a campaign urging French companies to withdraw from the project.”

"The situation in Jerusalem, with the illegal annexation of East Jerusalem, the rapid development of settlements and forced transfers of its Palestinian population, constitutes a plethora of international law violations on the part of Israel. Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the official transfer of the United States’ embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on 14 May 2018, contradicting the commitments of the international community, have exacerbated the situation in Jerusalem, " advocacy organizations said in a joint statement.

Today, they welcome the withdrawal of Alstom and ask the last French company historically involved in the project, Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations / EGIS, to do the same. While this enterprise is mostly state-owned, the French government - like all European governments - is called upon to take a clear stance against Israeli policies of annexation, colonization, and occupation.

 

(*) The associations involved in this campaign are France Palestine Solidarité, FIDH, LDH, Al-Haq and Plateforme des ONG françaises pour la Palestine

The unions involved are CFDT, CGT and l’Union syndicale Solidaires.