Major success for the anti-settlements campaign: Multilock to close West Bank factory

Posted: December 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, The Settlements | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments »

Maariv and the financial paper The Marker report that the Israeli company Multilock is leaving the West Bank because of human rights organizations’ pressure. The locks company will move from the Barkan industrial zone, located on the road to Ariel, to a site in the town of Yavne.

This is from Maariv (translation by Israel News Today):

About two years ago, Assa Abloy, the giant Swedish lock manufacturer which owns Multilock, announced its decision to close the factory in Barkan and relocate it within the boundaries of the Green Line.  The company’s public announcement came after human rights organizations and the Church of Sweden, whose representatives visited Barkan, issued a sharply-worded report warning the company’s management that Assa Abloy and its managers were liable to be personally persecuted for violating the international law that forbids building settlements on occupied territory.  After a few days, Assa Abloy announced that it had instructed Multilock to close the factory.

(…)

The Barkan industrial zone has about 120 Israeli factories of various sizes, and Multilock is not the only company that has encountered political trouble due to the location of its factories.  The international company Unilever faces a similar problem to that of Assa Abloy, because the Beigel Beigel factory, which it owns, is located in the Barkan industrial zone.

Unilever tried to sell its share of the factory (51%) for about two years unsuccessfully.  The sale attempts were also politically motivated, following criticism and boycott threats against Unilever.  Two months ago, Unilever announced that it was purchasing the share of the Beigel family in the company (49%) in order to move the factory to inside the Green Line.

The Barkan Wines company also left the Barkan industrial zone for similar reason at the beginning of the decade.  It wanted to expand its exports and therefore moved its activity to Kibbutz Hulda, which is located within the Green Line.