HSBC: Stop Profiting From War Crime.

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First of All we would like to extent our gratitude for HSBC first positive decision to divest from ELBIT SYSTEMS, the notorious manufacturer of drones, chemical weapons, cluster bomb artillery systems, and other technology used in attacks against Palestinian civilians, and to militarise walls and borders around the world. 

However, HSBC is still a major shareholder in companies supplying weapons and equipment to Israel worth £831 million, as follow:

• £180 million of shares in BAE Systems, a key company involved in manufacturing components for the F-16 fighter jets used by Israel to attack Palestinians in Gaza.

• £102 million of shares in Boeing, the company that provides Israel with Apache helicopters and Hellfire missiles.

• £99 million of shares in Caterpillar, whose specially modified bulldozers are used to demolish Palestinian homes and have been used as a weapon of war against Palestinians in Gaza. Other equipment provided by Caterpillar is used to construct apartheid walls and build illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territory.

• £69 million of shares in Raytheon, whose “bunker buster” bombs were used by Israel to target civilian homes during its 2014 assault on Gaza.

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), endorsed and promoted by both the Indonesian and United Kingdom government, provide a clear set of standards and obligations for businesses in respect of human rights. They are explicit in stating that companies have a responsibility to take active steps to “avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts” and to “seek to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts”.

Moreover In June 2017, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) issued additional guidance clarifying that banks and financial institutions are not exempt from these standards and obligations, and that they apply to their business relationships as well as their own activities.

We hope HSBC realise that by doing business with companies above means profiting from violence and human rights violation, which is both immoral and a contravention of international law.

We request a serious commitment of HSBC to human rights, and the first step must be to immediately end its business relationship with companies that arm Israel’s militarised repression.