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Veolia pulling out of Israel?

Ben White

It looks as if Veolia is finally pulling out of Israel. It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with its loss of contracts worth billions worldwide, could it?

A triumph for the international “Dump Veolia” campaign!

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Drones used to secure the Jerusalem Light Rail

A couple of weeks old, but of interest nonetheless.

As the Gaza crisis reverberated on the West Bank and East Jerusalem, young Palestinians expressed their anger and alienation by throwing stones at the trains on the Jerusalem Light Rail on a daily basis. Ha’aretz reports that the Israel police and Jerusalem municipality have begun using small drones in order to monitor the train. The drones are operated by the company Bladeworx, the first firm to receive permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to operate unmanned aircraft over residential areas — and apparently the first company in the world to use such technology for public transportation.

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Veolia dumped again – this time in Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton’ Art Gallery contract to be terminated

The leader of Wolverhampton City Council, on finding out that the City Art Gallery had a contract with Veolia, promptly ensured that the contract will not be renewed.

He has emailed:

As soon as the Palestine Solidarity Campaign kindly brought this contract to our attention on Thursday 31 July, the relevant Cabinet member Elias Mattu and I took up the issue, and instructions have been issued that that there should be no renewal of the Art Gallery’s Veolia contract when it expires in March 2015, and that Veolia should

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The beginning of the end?

Evidence that Veolia is trying to get out of the occupied territories is mounting – a sure sign that the international campaign against it has had an effect. But it isn’t over yet. We must keep up the pressure until Veolia pulls out of business in the OPT and makes a complete end of its support for settlements and complicity in the occupation.

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Jerusalem Light Railway badly damaged in Palestinian protest

“Later in the evening, local Palestinian residents took steps to remove the illegal light rail system which runs through their neighbourhood… Many local residents gathered round to express their support for this act of civil disobedience…”

ISM report, followed by one from Ha’aretz

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Veoila stumbles in the Royal Parks

Veolia Out of Royal Parks Alliance (Vorpal) submitted a substantial argument to The Royal Parks as to why Veolia should not be short-listed for a series of new maintenance contracts in eight of London’s parks. The submission was supported by scores of signatures from the great and good (including one from the late Bob Crow).

Veolia went for two of the contracts, trying to enlarge its business in the area by bidding for St James’s Park as well as rebidding for Regent’s Park. We are pleased to report that it failed in both cases. Aiding and abetting Israel’s breaches of international and humanitarian law clearly does not pay.

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New campaign against Veolia underway at University of Chichester. Please give it public support!

Active campaigning has persuaded the the University of Chichester to include an ‘ethical misconduct’ clause in the university’s campus contracts procurement policy. Widespread public support for this move is now being sought – please sign the petition.

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Sign the petition to get Veolia off University of Westminster Campuses

Petition by Palestinian Solidarity Society, University of Westminster

In 2013, a Freedom of Information request to University of Westminster revealed that Veolia carry out waste removal for the university on a rolling annual contract, which expires on in March, 2014 worth over £48K.

There has been an Israeli military occupation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories since 1967, and settlements built there are illegal under international law, according to the UK Government. Veolia Environnement is a French multinational infrastructure company that run transport links connecting Israel to the settlements. A Veolia subsidiary runs and operates the Tovlan landfill

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Palestinian landfill site in the West Bank refused permission to operate

The Israeli so called “Civil Administration” in the West Bank is refusing to allow the operation of a landfill funded by the World Bank and intended to serve the Palestinian population south of Jerusalem – unless it takes settlement waste as well. Just more evidence of Israel’s high-handed and ever-present intervention in Palestinian affairs in the West Bank (where Veolia operates the Tovlan landfill site in the Jordan valley that takes some settlement waste already).

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Veolia group negotiating sale of its operations in Israel

There is much of interest in this report published on the Israeli news website Calcalaist and translated by Who Profits? It assess the value of Veolia’s activities in Israel at $400 million and reports this sell-off as part of an attempt by Veolia to reduce its activities in 40 of the 77 countries where it operates today, against the backdrop of huge debts carried by the group – about 15.2 billion euros. At least part of this debt, we would argue, results from Veolia’s loss of contracts internationally because of its tarnished reputation arising from its complicity in Israel’s illegal occupation. The article also reports that “Veolia Israel denied this news [of a sale] outright”. Watch this space…

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