UNICEF said it has severed ties with Leviev for his involvement in building settlements in the occupied Palestinian lands.

UNICEF Boycotts Settlements Financer

IOL Staff

The UN children's fund UNICEF has severed ties with Israeli billionaire and diamond magnate Lev Leviev for funding settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian lands.

"We thank UNICEF for upholding international law, and supporting children's rights," Mohamed Taher Jaber, the mayor of the Palestinian village of Jayyous, said in a statement obtained by IslamOnline.net on Saturday, June 21.

"We call on other organizations to do the same."

UNICEF said it has severed ties with Leviev for his involvement in building settlements in the occupied Palestinian lands.

"I can confirm that UNICEF has advised Adalah in New York that it will not be entering into any partnerships or accepting financial contributions from Lev Leviev or his corporate people," Chris de Bono, a senior adviser to the executive director of UNICEF, told Reuters on Friday.

 Settlement Financer in Dubai The UNICEF's decision followed meetings with the Coalition for Justice in the Middle East (Adalah-NY) and anti-settlement activists to boycott the Israeli billionaire.

"We are aware of the controversy surrounding Mr. Leviev because of his reported involvement in construction work in the occupied Palestinian territory," said de Bono.

UNICEF said it found "at least a reasonable grounds for suspecting" that Leviev companies were building settlements in occupied territories.

UNICEF could not say how much Leviev had donated as an individual.

In his only known partnership with UNICEF, Leviev last year donated jewelry to a fashion event in France that benefited the French national committee for UNICEF.


Anti-settlement activists said the UNICEF's decision was the first step to punish financers of the Israeli settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian lands.

"We welcome UNICEF’s decision to hold one of the companies that has been building Mattityahu East settlement accountable for attempting to destroy our community," said Abdullah Abu Rahme, a Palestinian activist in the West Bank village of Bil'in.

"Our village has engaged in a three year nonviolent campaign to save our land, and an international boycott is an important complement to our weekly protests."

Activists have been campaigning to pressure the government of Dubai to reverse a decision to allow the Israeli billionaire to open jewelry stores in Dubai.

"This is a victory, but we need many more like it," said Abu Rahme.

Leviev, ranked 210 among the world's richest people, is a major financer of Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian lands.

His company Danya Cebus, a subsidiary of Africa-Israel, subcontracted the building of Mattityahu East settlement on the land of the Palestinian village of Bil'in.

It is also build housing units in Har Homa and Maale Adumim settlements, cutting the holy city of Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) from the West Bank.

Leviev’s company Leader is also building the settlement of Zufim on the land of the West Bank village of Jayyous.

The Israeli billionaire is also a major contributor to the Land Redemption Fund, a Jewish group accused of intimidation and strong-arms tactics to secure Palestinian lands for settlement construction.

There are more than 164 Jewish settlements in the West Bank, eating up more than 40 percent of the occupied territory.

The international community considers all Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land illegal. 

*Source: Islam Online

Author: MRN NetworkThe aspiration of the Media Review Network is to dispel the myths and stereotypes about Islam and Muslims and to foster bridges of understanding among the diverse people of our country. The Media Review Network believes that Muslim perspectives on issues impacting on South Africans are a prerequisite to a better appreciation of Islam.