The UN entity on human rights is expected to publish at the end of January the much-delayed “blacklist” of Israeli business operating in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, sources in Jerusalem said Sunday.
In 2016, the UN Human Rights Council approved a resolution to collect a "blacklist" of Israeli and international companies operating in the settlements, which would then be made public. In addition, the European Union is targeting companies that operate in the West Bank, with a recent ruling from its courts requiring all member states to label products made in the settlements.
The UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Michelle Bachelet is believed to have been encouraged to publish the list by the ICC prosecutor’s decision to open a probe into alleged Israeli war crimes in the Palestinian territories.
The list was set to be published at the 40th UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva in March but Bachelet decided to postpone the announcement due to heavy pressure apparently put on her by the United States and Israel.
"I am committed to fulfilling the council's mandate,” the former Chilean president said in a letter to the commission back in March. “Due to the factual complexity, further examination is required to fully comply with the council's request. I’ve appealed to member states, business entities, representatives of Israeli civil society and other officials,” she said.
The sources said the U.S. government, including congressmen from both Republican and Democratic parties, have been working behind the scenes to try and postpone the publication of the list once again, applying pressure on the commissioner and UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
The Americans have apparently implied that the Trump administration will take strong action against the UN Commission on Human Rights if the so-called blacklist harms the U.S. companies which are set to make the list.
David Friedman, U.S. Ambassador to Israel, has also been holding talks on the issue with officials in the country.
A number of prominent Israeli and international companies - among them Coca Cola and Teva - have been threatened with inclusion on a United Nations blacklist over their operations in Israeli settlements.