[Boycott - Israel Supporters]
Dutch gov't warns company to stop work on W. Bank fence
Cnaan Liphshiz, Haaretz Correspondent
9 July 2007
The Dutch foreign minister, Maxime Verhagen, recently warned a construction company from the Rotterdam area to terminate its involvement in work on the separation fence in the West Bank.
Riwal helping Israel
build the apartheid wall
"I expect Riwal to stop providing cranes for the wall. I hope this will be the last we hear of it," Verhagen said in a media statement late last month, adding that "the government will keep a close watch" on the company's actions.
The Dutch foreign ministry called the company's work on the barrier "undesirable," citing the 2004 ruling by the Hague-based International Court of Justice that the fence was illegal.
Last year, the company agreed to halt its involvement following a request by the foreign ministry. However, the issue resurfaced last month after United Civilians for Peace (UCP) an organization promoting peace in the Middle East submitted evidence showing that Riwal was still providing equipment for the wall's contractors.
Reiterating its stance on Riwal, the Dutch foreign ministry recently suggested that the company abide by contractual usage stipulations.
Nonetheless, UCP accuses the Dutch government of not doing enough to hold Israel to account for its actions.
"The Hague often affords Israel unlimited backing despite violations of international law. We hope Verhagen's recent statement is more than lip-service," Martin Siepermann of UCP told Haaretz. "The government should pursue the matter independently instead of merely responding to our queries."
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