Norway Divests From Firms in East Jerusalem

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Norway’s government instructed a state-run pension fund not to invest in two Israeli firms because of their activity in eastern Jerusalem.

The decision regarding the Government Pension Fund Global, or GPFG, appeared Thursday on the website of Norway’s finance ministry. It named the two Israeli construction firms, Africa Israel Investments and Danya Cebus, as well as Sesa Sterlite, an Indian mining company it banned because of alleged environmental risks.

The companies had previously been excluded from GPFG, a $810 million pension fund, during the period August 2010 to August 2013 for settlement building in the West Bank. The ban was lifted in August, but was reinstated because of the companies’ activities in eastern Jerusalem,

“On the 1st of November 2013, the Ministry of Finance received a recommendation from the Council of Ethics to exclude the companies Africa Israel Investments and Danya Cebus from the Fund due to contribution to serious violations of individual rights in war or conflict through the construction of settlements in East Jerusalem,” the announcement read.

In a statement to Reuters, Africa Israel said it abided by the laws of the countries where it operated.

“Africa Israel and its subsidiaries operate both in Israel and all over the globe promoting their business activities according to the legislation applicable in all countries where they operate,” its spokeswoman, Dalia Azar-Malimovka, told the news agency. “Therefore, we can only express regret over the decision regarding Africa Israel and other major Israeli companies.”

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Norway Divests From Firms in East Jerusalem

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