London based human rights group Amnesty International on Wednesday urged online travel agencies to ban listings of destinations from Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
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Airbnb announced last November that it would remove West Bank settlement listings but has yet to implement its decision. The company says it is working to identify the “precise boundaries” of areas subject to the policy.
Amnesty called on Airbnb to immediately implement its ban and to extend it to east Jerusalem, which Israel captured along with the West Bank in the six days Arab-Israel war in 1967. The Palestinians seek these lands for a future independent state.
Gilad Erdan, Israeli Cabinet Minister, writing on Twitter, called the Amnesty statement “an outrageous attempt to distort facts.”
World Jewish Congress (WJC) CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer said “If Amnesty wishes to involve itself in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it should center its attention on the real human rights abuses ongoing in Palestinian territories, and not attack corporate businesses who strive to bridge divides and build peace through global tourism and interaction”.