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Palestine : Orange must respect international law and break its links with the Israeli company Partner

Palestine : Orange must respect international law and break its links with the Israeli company Partner
  
  

 


Why this is important

In 2011, the French telecommunications company Orange renewed its licensing contract with the Israeli telecommunications company Partner Communications. This contract gives Partner, in return for the payment of royalties, the right to operate under the Orange brand name in Israel, as well as in the Israeli settlements in Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan, in violation of international law.

Partner, which has thus become “Orange Israel”, sells its services to the settlers and the Israeli army, and consequently:

  • It contributes to the economic viability of the colonial settlements.
  • It profits from a Palestinian captive market under military occupation: Orange Israel erects communication towers and technical installations in occupied Palestine (176 sites in 2011), whereas Palestinian telecommunications companies are forbidden from doing so. Therefore it is not only stealing the Palestinian market from those Palestinian companies, but is also stealing from the Palestinian people to whom it pays no taxes in exchange for its illegal economic activities conducted in Palestine.
  • It sponsored and provided services to two Israeli combat units, through the “Adopt a Soldier” programme, during the military attack on the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014, an attack which resulted in the deaths of over 2,200 Palestinians.
Orange, through its licensing contract with Partner, is colluding in the violations that are carried out under its name and is gaining a direct financial profit from the colonisation.

Orange
is present in many countries worldwide. In Egypt, it owns a 98.92% stake in Mobinil, a company with over 30 million users, more users than Orange has in France. But today :

  • Orange officials risk legal repercussions by violating international law, and could be accused of complicity in war crimes before the International Criminal Court.
  • Orange officials are taking economic risks regarding the international development of the group. For example, the French company Veolia has been excluded from bidding for contracts around the world that are worth billions of dollars, due to its construction of the Israeli tram line which serves East-Jerusalem illegal settlements.
  • Orange officials, despite the warning issued by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the reputational damage associated with economic activities carried out in occupied Palestine, persist in risking their brand's image by pursuing activities with the longest and one of the most violent illegal colonisations on the planet.

If
Orange does not end its shameful partnership with Partner Communications, many will prefer to take their custom elsewhere.

Companies must be careful not to profit from a situation that goes against justice and the rule of law.

We therefore demand:

  • that Orange terminate its contract with Partner Communications;
  • that Mobinil, in which Orange Telecom has a 98.92% stake, and the State of France, which owns 25% of the capital of Orange, take their responsibilities and pressure Orange's decision-makers to terminate this contract.

We will continue to take action as long as this disgraceful contract is not terminated and we call upon the citizens of the world to do the same.

This petition is a joint initiative of the BDS France Campaign and the Egyptian Popular Campaign for the Boycott of Israel (BDS Egypt)

Posted May 22, 2015
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