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HSBC exits Elbit Systems which sells weapons used in attacks on Palestinians

Staff Writer | December 29, 2018
HSBC confirmed that it has completely liquidated its holdings in the Israeli firm Elbit Systems due to public pressure.
Middle East   HSBC has taken a positive first step
The Britain’s Palestinian Solidarity Campaign statement said the British bank, HSBC, agreed to divest from Elbit following a year-long campaign that included regular demonstrations in front of the bank’s 40 branches in Britain and emails from 24,000 people.

It argued that HSBC’s investments in Elbit, “which sells weapons to the Israeli military used in attacks on Palestinians,” violated the bank’s own policies about ties with defense contractors, even if, as HSBC claimed, they were made on behalf of its clients.

“HSBC has taken a positive first step in divesting from Elbit Systems, the notorious manufacturer of drones, chemical weapons, cluster bomb artillery systems, and other technology used in attacks against Palestinian civilians,” said Ryvka Barnard, a senior campaigner on militarism and security for War on Want, which participated in the campaign.

“However, HSBC continues to do business with over a dozen companies selling military equipment and technology used in human rights violation, including Caterpillar, whose bulldozers are used in demolition of Palestinian homes and properties, and BAE Systems, whose weapons are used in war crimes by Israel, Saudi Arabia and other repressive regimes,” she added.

HSBC informed War on Want and the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign of its decision via email on December 23. On Thursday, sources at the bank confirmed the decision.