Government is advising against trade and business activity with Israeli settlements

The Government is reiterating its position on Israel’s settlement policy on occupied land by advising Norwegian companies not to engage in business cooperation or trade that serves to perpetuate the illegal Israeli settlements.

‘Norway has long maintained that Israel’s settlement policy in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is in violation of international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights, and undermines the prospects of achieving a future Palestinian state and a peaceful resolution of the conflict,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide. 

The recommendation to Norwegian companies is a response to the intensification of Israel’s settlement policy during the past year as well as new settlement expansions and increased settler violence against Palestinians. A number of Western countries, including the US, have introduced measures against the settlements, such as travel bans and asset freezes for violent settlers. Several European countries have already issued advice to their business sectors with regard to trade with the settlements. 

‘The Norwegian business community has sought advisory guidelines from the Norwegian authorities. This recommendation makes it clear that Norwegian companies should be alert to the fact that engaging in any economic or financial activity in the illegal Israeli settlements could put them at risk of contributing to violations of international humanitarian law and human rights,’ said Mr Eide. 

The situation on the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is extremely serious. Since 7 October 2023, 400 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank, including 102 children. In 2023, Israel implemented a number of policy changes that have promoted a rise in West Bank construction and settlement activity.  

‘Palestinians are being driven from their homes, which are then destroyed. Last year was also the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since the United Nations began keeping records. I say again that the injustices being done to the Palestinians must stop,’ Mr Eide said.  

The advice to Norway’s business sector concerns business activity and trade in goods produced in Israeli settlements . 

The Government expects Norwegian companies to operate in a responsible manner and to comply with the Norwegian Transparency Act, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.