Amnesty International has slammed online tourism companies for offering services in Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land, saying they are actually contributing to the regime’s land theft and profiting from “war crimes” against Palestinians.
In a report published on Wednesday, the London-based rights group accused travel and booking firms - Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia and TripAdvisor - of fuelling human rights violations by listing hundreds of rooms and activities in Israeli settlements built on the occupied territory, including East Jerusalem al-Quds, in defiance of international law.
“Israel’s unlawful seizure of Palestinian land and expansion of settlements perpetuates immense suffering, pushing Palestinians out of their homes, destroying their livelihoods and depriving them of basics like drinking water,” said Seema Joshi, Amnesty International’s Director of Global Thematic Issues.
The four companies “are contributing to these human rights violations by doing business in the settlements,” she added, calling on them to stop promoting the settlements as tourist destinations.
Tel Aviv “uses the growing tourism industry in the settlements as a way of legitimizing their existence and expansion, and online booking companies are playing along with this agenda. It’s time for these companies to stand up for human rights by withdrawing all of their listings in illegal settlements on occupied land. War crimes are not a tourist attraction,” Joshi said.