G4S resumes strongly criticized activities, protecting Israelis on the occupied West Bank.

 
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The world's largest security company, the Danish based G4S, is met with serious criticism for having resumed controversial activities in the occupied West Bank, where G4S-employees amongst other tasks, work as armed guards in the settlements, according to the Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende.

The armed security guards protection of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, left Danish-British G4S with deep dents in its reputation in 2002.

After extensive criticism from amongst others Per Stig Moeller, at that time Danish foreign Minister (Conservatives), the company pulled out of the West Bank, referring to respecting international conventions, and not wanting to support breeches of international law. Such statements were made by former G4S director Lars Nørby Johansen.

Danish chairman and stock exchange register

Now it has been demonstrated, that the company, which has a Danish executive chairman; Alf Duch Pedersen, and is registered at the Danish Stock Exchange, is back.

Amongst other activities, G4S earns money by providing security equipment for checkpoints, as well as armed guards for Jewish settlements.

This was demonstrated by visits the Danish paper Berlingske Tidende has made to the area, as well as by documentation from the independent research center DanWatch, which monitors the behavior of companies.

Precisely the Israeli settlements are at the moment some of the biggest hurdles in the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian government.

The American president Barack Obama and the Danish government have demanded a stop to further building.

G4S plays an important role, says Middle east expert and external lector at Copenhagen University, Michael Irving Jensen: 'Everybody who assists the continuing existence of the settlements, are undermining the possibilities for peace,' Irving said.

G4S denies having changed its policies and activities since 2002:

'We don't have several hundreds of guards on assignments on the West Bank. We may have a contract with a local customer and at certain times there can therefore be a smaller number of employees in the area,' a spokesman for G4S said.

Former Social democratic Foreign Minister Mogens Lykketoft finds it very unfortunate that G4S has revived its activities in the area:

'Many people will perceive this as if Denmark is involved, since it is a company registered at the Danish Stock Exchange. Therefore it is important that the government declares that these are not Danish policies, and proposes that the company pulls out of the West Bank,' he says.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Berlingske Tidende 21 november 2010 - Dansk sikkerhedsgigant i skudlinjen (Eva Jung, Peter Suppli Benson)

Politiken 21 november 2010 - Dansk vagtselskab beskytter israelske bosættelser

DanWatch 20 november 2010 - G4S tilbage i ulovlige israelske bosættelser

Related:

Balder Blog 14 januar 2009 - The Palestinian Israeli conflict in the Danish media as seen by a nationalist


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