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The Don't Buy Into Occupation coalition releases new report exposing European financial Institutions and companies' complicity in Israel's illegal settlements in occupied Palestine
13، Dec 2023

12 December 2023, Brussels – Updated research report reveals, for the 3rd year in a row, billions of USD worth of loans, underwriting (USD 164.2 billion), shares and bonds (USD 144.7 billion) of 776 European financial institutions in 51 companies are involved in grave violations of human rights and illegal activities according to international law. The findings cover the period from January 2020 to August 2023.


The report's publication comes at a time when Israel is perpetrating genocidal acts in the besieged and occupied Gaza Strip, killing over 18,000 Palestinians and forcibly displacing 1.9 million Palestinians forcibly. The intensity and ferocity of the indiscriminate military attacks has inflicted deliberate large scale destruction to civilian infrastructure and wreaked an unfathomable humanitarian catastrophe in a revengeful attack. The attention of the international community on the unfolding genocide in Gaza has enabled the intensification of annexation, repression, collective punishment and settler violence in the occupied West Bank.


For the past two months, the Israeli government has been facilitating the arming of Israeli settlers and civilians, and since the beginning of the military offensive alone 265 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and armed settlers in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. In addition, more than 3,260 Palestinians including 200 children have been arrested by the Israeli occupation forces in violent night time raids, and Palestinian families communities have been entirely expelled from their villages due to settler terrorism.


Within this backdrop, and since the publication of the 2nd DBIO report, the Israeli government together with private actors, continue to advance settlement and land theft unabated in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, further cementing its domination and apartheid regime over the occupied Palestinian people and its land colonisation.


The new report from the Don’t Buy Into Occupation (DBIO) Coalition reveals that hundreds of European financial institutions remain heavily invested in companies shoring up illegal Israeli residential, agricultural and industrial settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Company activities include settlement construction, service provision, demolition of homes, and surveillance.


For years, the coalition has warned that business enterprises, that are directly or indirectly involved in the Israeli settlement enterprise, run a high risk of complicity in grave violations of international humanitarian law, war crimes and crimes against humanity, and contributing to human rights violations. This includes financing, insuring, and trading with partners, suppliers, and subsidiaries that have ties with and proven links to the construction, expansion and maintenance of Israel’s illegal settlements. Such a risk is not limited to production and trade relationships, but extends to financial institutions as well.


Settlements continue to deny Palestinians a myriad of their human rights, including freedom of movement, liberty and security, an adequate standard of living, self-determination and sovereignty over natural resources. State-sponsored settler violence against Palestinian communities, involving killing, other forms of physical violence, and intimidation, torching of homes, fields and livestock, is alarmingly on the increase and has driven entire indigenous Palestinian communities to be forcibly expelled.


“The ongoing terror and take over by illegal settlers over the occupied West Bank, with the clear intention of the Israeli apartheid regime and settler organisations to erase and ethnically cleanse Palestinians from both Gaza and the West Bank can only stop if international companies and funding to the illegal settlement enterprise cease. European financial institutions have a big responsibility” said Inès Abdel Razek of Palestinian NGO, PIPD, a DBIO coalition member.


The companies identified in the report still have a responsibility to use their leverage to prevent, mitigate, and address potential adverse impacts due to their involvement in violations and grave breaches of international human rights and humanitarian law that may amount to international crimes.


The 51 companies identified include prominent names such as Airbnb, Carrefour, Cisco Systems, IBM, Puma, Siemens, and Volvo Group, all involved in activities raising human rights concerns, whereas some have already been listed in the UN database of businesses linked to Israeli settlements.


“Financial institutions should conduct heightened human rights due diligence on all business relationships, especially those in occupied territory and conflict-affected areas, and accordingly, take action to end financial support for companies that are linked to unlawful actions or situations such as Israel’s illegal settlements. On the other hand, business enterprises should responsibly cease all activities and relationships with illegal settlements,” said Maha Abdallah, DBIO coordinator.


Noteworthy among the findings are the top creditors providing USD 116.55 billion in loans and underwriting, led by BNP Paribas (France) with USD 22.19 billion, and the top investors contributing USD

66.36 billion in shareholdings and bond holdings, led by the Government Pension Fund Global (Norway) with USD 13.16 billion.


“The failure to hold international corporations and financial institutions accountable for complicity in international crimes including those related to the settlements, is fuelling the continuing and deteriorating situation on the ground, entrenching Israel’s illegal occupation, annexation and colonisation of Palestine, maintained by war crimes, crimes against humanity, and acts of genocide. This report puts companies on notice of their failures to carry out the required enhanced due diligence, and calls on those companies to divest and responsibility disengage from the occupied Palestinian territory,” said Dr Susan Power of Palestinian NGO, Al-Haq, a DBIO coalition member.


Don't buy into Occupation’s findings unveils how very few financial institutions are putting in place investment policies to align with human rights and international law, as well as policies that specifically include “involvement in the settlements in occupied territories” as an exclusion criterion. Even then, those remain insufficient and at times overlooked when conducting activities in practice. Particularly at a time where the failure to hold Israel accountable is facilitating a genocide, financial institutions and business must urgently end their involvement and operation.


Download the full DBIO 2023 report here:

Company responses to the DBIO 2023 report can be accessed here.

For more inquiries, please contact:


Maha Abdallah, Coordinator, Don’t Buy into Occupation (DBIO), [email protected]

Haneen Kinani, The Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, [email protected]

Dr Susan Power, Al-Haq, [email protected]

Heide Vercruysse, Bisan International Center for Research and Development, [email protected]

Signing organisations: Al-Haq, the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, Bisan Center for Research and Development.


About DBIO Coalition:


Don’t Buy into Occupation (DBIO) is a coalition of 25 Palestinian, regional and European organisations based in Belgium, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom (UK), and Palestine. The Coalition was formed in January 2021 to investigate and reveal the financial relationships between European Financial Institutions (FIs) and business enterprises involved in the illegal Israeli settlement enterprise in the OPT, through the publication of an annually updated report. The DBIO coalition presents its third report (DBIO III) that complements and provides an update to the DBIO II report (November 2022) and DBIO I report (September 2021).