The Geneva-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor has said it is gravely concerned about the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) involvement in a plan to set up an investment fund that will help upgrade Israeli checkpoints in the occupied Palestinian territories.
“We are alarmed by the Israeli-UAE plans to set an investment fund that will enable modernizing Israeli-operated checkpoints in the occupied Palestinian territories,” the Euro-Med Monitor said in a statement Wednesday.
Euro-Med called on the UAE government to “refrain from and immediately halt any deals with Israel that may contribute to or embolden human rights violations against the Palestinians.”
Last Tuesday, the chief executive of the US international development finance corporation, Adam Boehler, announced that the US, Israeli and UAE governments would create a $3 billion investment fund — to be called the Abraham Fund — that would seek to promote private investment in Israel, the West Bank and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa.
“On the top priorities of this fund would be upgrading and modernizing Israeli security checkpoints across the occupied West Bank,” Euro-Med pointed out.
The human rights group warned that financing the so called “modernization” of the Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank would contribute significantly to hiding their destructive purpose and negative impacts on the Palestinians, making them a permanent reality, and entrenching the occupation.
There are currently more than 700 Israeli checkpoints in the occupied West Bank, and only during last September, Euro-Med documented that Israel set up additional 300 flying checkpoints throughout the West Bank.
“These checkpoints maintain onerous restrictions on the movements of the Palestinians in the West Bank. Contrary to the Israeli claims over security, these checkpoints appear to exist merely for the benefit of the Israeli settlements that are themselves illegal under international law,” Euro-Med noted.