Private Security Companies and the Israeli Occupation
This report takes a close look at the activity of "G4S Israel" as a case study for the private security companies which are taking an active part in sustaining the occupation. These companies operate in the oPt, taking over some of the tasks that were traditionally executed by the Israeli security forces.
Private security companies take an active part in sustaining the occupation. A number of security companies operate in the oPt, taking over some of the tasks that were traditionally executed by the Israeli security forces. Private companies provide a wide range of services to civilian and military occupation structures, including supplying circumferential security systems to settlements, maintaining security equipment in checkpoints, employing security personnel at checkpoints and securing construction sites of settlements and the Separation Wall. The variety of operations of private security companies illustrates, perhaps most lucidly, that the Israeli occupation today is sustained not only by state military forces, but also by a multitude of commercial and economic forces, whose activities in the oPt are interwoven into the establishment of control itself.
This report takes a close look at the activity of one such company: G4S Israel. Our research has identified four types of activity performed by G4S Israel, which participate in different facets of the Israeli occupation. First, the company has provided security equipment and services to incarceration facilities holding Palestinian prisoners inside Israel and in the occupied West Bank. These are incarceration facilities that hold Palestinian political prisoners in violation of international law and in which torture and systematic violations of human rights occur. Second, the company has provided equipment and maintenance services to Israeli military checkpoints in the West Bank. Some of these checkpoints are inside occupied territory and they are all part of the Separation Wall complex which was deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice. Third, the company offers security systems and security guards to businesses in Israeli West Bank settlements, and are thus supporting these illegal settlements. Finally, the company has also provided security systems for the Israeli police headquarters in the West Bank which is located next to the Ma'ale Adumim settlement.
The report also includes analysis of statements by the company regarding its involvement in the Israeli occupation. Facing mounting criticism for its activities, the company has released several statements. In the latest statement, dated March 11, 2011, the company states that it will aim to exit some of the contracts that the company has in facilities in the West Bank. The report provides an examination of this and prior statements by the company as they relate to the findings of our research.