New Zealand gov’t fund divests from Israeli firms over settlement construction

SYDNEY (JTA) — A New Zealand government fund divested from three Israeli companies because of their involvement in the construction of West Bank settlements.

Elbit, Lev Leviev’s Africa Israel and its construction subsidiary Danya Cebus, and Shikun & Binui were excluded from the $23.5 billion New Zealand Superannuation Fund, the New Zealand Herald reported last week.

The $20 billion fund’s investments in the firms amounted to a total of less than $83,000. All three companies are engaged in the construction of settlements or construction of the West Bank security fence.

In a statement, Anne-Maree O’Connor, the fund’s manager for responsible investment, said, "Findings by the United Nations that the separation barrier and settlement activities were illegal under international law were central to the fund’s decision to exclude the companies. The fund also factored in votes by New Zealand for U.N. Security Council resolutions demanding the cessation and dismantling of the separation barrier, and the cessation of Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories."
 

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