The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund has excluded two Israeli companies for constructing and letting out buildings in Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank, the first time it has made such a move in almost a decade.
Norway’s $1.3tn oil fund said late on Wednesday that it had sold out of Shapir Engineering and Industry as well as Mivne Real Estate and barred them from its portfolio “due to unacceptable risk that the companies contribute to systematic violations of individuals’ rights in situations or war or conflict.”
The Council of Ethics, the independent body that advises the fund on possible exclusions, said: “Israeli settlements in the West Bank have been built in violation of international law . . . their existence and constant expansion causes significant harm and disadvantage to the area’s Palestinian population.”
Shapir is involved in the construction of homes in Israeli settlements while Mivne lets industrial real estate linked to the settlements, according to the Council of Ethics. Its recommendations date from last year, before the recent Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [emphasis added]Norwegian oil fund excludes two Israeli companies for West Bank activities | Financial Times