HSBC faces protest for 'profiting from human rights abuses'

By agency reporter
April 19, 2018

HSBC is a major shareholder in companies which supply weapons and military equipment to Israel, which often uses lethal force against Palestinians, including the recent killing of unarmed protesters in Gaza.

Over 18,000 people around the UK have contacted HSBC Group Chief Executive John Flint, expressing their concerns on this issue, and HSBC branches in over 20 locations across the UK have been the focus of regular protests and pickets.

On Friday 20 April between 10am to 2pm, protesters outside the Queen Elizabeth II Centre will be telling shareholders at HSBC’s annual general meeting to ‘Stop Arming Israel’.

British high street bank HSBC profits through investments and loans to companies which supply military equipment to Israel.  Israel’s security forces use such weapons for brutal and illegal violence against Palestinians, including extrajudicial executions, attacks on unarmed protesters, house demolitions using armoured equipment, mass arrests and the military blockade and large scale bombings on the Gaza Strip.

Ryvka Barnard, Senior Campaigner on Militarism and Security at War on Want, said, “HSBC holds millions of pounds worth of shares in companies like BAE Systems, Boeing, and Elbit Systems, whose weapons are used in Israeli military attacks on Palestinian civilians. As long as HSBC maintains business with companies arming Israel, its role in the oppression of Palestinians will continue to raise alarm and generate protest.”

Ben Jamal, Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: “HSBC claims it has a commitment to upholding human rights. If this commitment is sincere, it must end its complicity in the arms trade with Israel. In recent weeks, the world has witnessed just how shamelessly Israel uses lethal force against Palestinian civilians. We join concerned citizens across the UK in telling HSBC to live up to its responsibilities and stop making a killing from Israel’s daily and systematic violence against Palestinians.” 

Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Programme Director at Defence for Children International -Palestine, said: “Israeli forces are using live ammunition for crowd control to disperse protesters in Gaza, ignoring their obligation under international law to only resort to intentional lethal force when a direct, mortal threat to life or of serious injury exists. The cost of systemic impunity is that wilful killing of civilians is now routine, putting Palestinian children at higher risk of death and critical injury.”

* War On Want  https://www.waronwant.org/

 

[Ekk/6]

 

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