UK

G4S Security Contracts Face Probe Over Israeli Occupation 'Complicity'

07/01/2014 13:06 GMT | Updated 25/01/2014 21:01 GMT
David Davies/PA Archive
G4S Security guards outside the USA training base at Alexandra Stadium, Birmingham.

G4S could be investigated by international authorities amid allegations that it supplies Israel with security equipment for use at military checkpoints in occupied Palestinian territories.

The British security giant is likely to face questions on how it can justify the contracts that arguably aid the Israeli occupation that is deemed illegal under international law.

According to the Independent, sources at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s UK office have indicated that it will probe G4S' dealings with Israeli security services.

The exact sort of equipment supplied by G4S is not known. However the security giant's deals could be investigated over whether they break the OECD's government-backed guidelines for responsible conduct.

In a blog on the Huffington Post UK, Ruth Tanner, campaigns director at War on Want, attacked the firm's "complicity in Israel's occupation of Palestine through the supply of security equipment and services for use at checkpoints, illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, and Israeli prisons."

If G4S is found to have acted improperly, this could mark the latest in a string of scandals after the firm was found to have overcharged British taxpayers for the electronic tagging of prisoners and infamously botching the provision of security for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The global security giant, which employs 6,000 people in Israel, reportedly provides and maintains screening equipment for some military checkpoints on the West Bank, as well as managing security systems at the Ofer Prison and the Israeli police department in the occupied territories.

The business has said it will end those contracts by 2015, but will continue providing security systems at commercial and government sites in Israel.

The OECD’s UK contact point, operating under the umbrella of the Department for Business, declined to comment on the investigation.

A Department for Business spokesperson told the Huffington Post UK: "The UK National Contact Point does not generally confirm or deny receipt of complaints, but aims to make an initial assessment within three months of whether a complaint merits further examination and publishes these assessments on Gov.uk."

Writing to the Business and Human Rights Resource centre in 2012, G4S said that its review of its operations on the West Bank by University of Cambridge professor Hjalte Rasmussen had concluded "that G4S did not violate any national or international law."