US pension fund giant TIAA-CREF (Teachers Insurance and Annuity) confirmed Saturday that it has sold its holdings in Africa Israel Investments, owned by billionaire Lev Leviev.
The divestment request came for 60 of the company's investors, reportedly due to Africa Israel being "a company which violates human rights and international law" – referring to the its construction projects in the West Bank.
TIAA-CREF, a Fortune 500 company, holds $400 billion in assets and has 3.6 million investors across 15,000 academic institutions in the US.
The letter stated that Africa Israel, through subsidiary Danya Cebus, has ongoing construction projects in Jerusalem's Har-Homa neighborhood, the West Bank village of Bilin, near Ramallah and Ma'aleh Adumim.
The company's real estate subsidiary Anglo-Saxon, said the letter, has officers in Ma'aleh Adumim and the southern West Bank settlement of Efrat, located south of Jerusalem.
The company confirmed that it "no longer owns shares in Africa-Israel Investments," adding that "despite the recent divestment… the fund continues to invest clients' money in a number of companies supporting Israeli settlement activity, including Israel Discount Bank, Cellcom Israel, Bezeq Israeli Telecommunications Corp, Bank Leumi, and Motorola, among others."