CKUT: Palestinian Village Sues Two Canadian Companies

 Aaron LakoffVillagers in Bil'in march towards the Apartheid Wall in one of their weekly demonstrations. Photo: Aaron Lakoff

A report on the West Bank city of Bil'in's lawsuit against Greenpark and Greenmount - two companies based in Montreal who are allegedly building illegal Israeli settlements on Bil'in's land.

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On July 9th, the village of Bil'in, located just north of Ramallah in the West Bank of occupied Palestine, filed a lawsuit at the Qubec Superior Court against two Canadian companies. The rurual village of around 1700 inhabitants claims that Greenpark and Greenmount, both companies which are registered in Montreal, are breaking international and Canadian law by financing and building Israeli settlements on the village's land. Israeli settlements are illegal under international law, as the Geneva Convention prohibits an occupying power from transfering civilian members of their population onto territories which they are occupying.

As a result of the illegal settlements being built on Bil'in's land, Israel has built its famous apartheid wall right through the olive groves of the village, hence separating them from one of their main sources of agricultural revenue.

Every friday for the last 3 years, villagers of Bil'in, along with international and Israeli activists, have been holding demonstrations against the wall. Last week's lawsuit against Greenpark and Greenmount is the newest step in this village's courageous resistance to Israeli apartheid.

In this report, we spoke with Abdullah Abu Rahme, the coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall in Bil'in, as well as Mark Arnold, a lawyer representing the village of Bil'in in Toronto. They told us about the goals of the Greenpark Greenmount lawsuit, and the impact that Israeli settlements such as Mod'in Illit have had on the Palestinian residents of Bil'in.

This report was produced for CKUT radio by Aaron Lakoff and Meg Leitold.

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