Pressure from pro-Palestinian groups has forced a French multinational firm to drop out of an Israeli light rail project that cuts into occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
The assertion will bolster an international campaign to boycott companies supporting Israel, a would-be Israeli partner in the project said.
However, Yoni Yitzhak, spokesman for Veolia Israel in France said on Thursday that the company had not succumbed to political pressures. He said all decisions by the company “are based on financial, not political, considerations”.
Veolia originally had planned to sell its five percent stake in the project to Israeli company Dan bus lines, but later sold it to a rival. Dan is now suing Veolia.
"As Veolia told Dan, at some point in 2009 or thereabouts, because of heavy political pressure applied to French Veolia by pro-Arab and anti-Israel sources to halt its activity in the East al-Quds area, and in light of legal proceedings instituted against French Veolia beforehand in connection with the light rail, Veolia decided to end its involvement in the project", Dan spokesman Eitan Fixman told the Associated Press:
Palestinians are hoping to derail the $1 billion train project from West al-Quds into East al-Quds, the part of the city they want as a capital.