Dexia Israel announces it will continue providing loans and financial services to local municipalities of settlements in the occupied territory, while its controlling Dexia Group announces it will stop all such settlement-related activity
Dexia Israel, a subsidiary of the Belgian-French Dexia Group, provides long-term loans and other financial services to Israeli local authorities in the occupied territory. After Who Profits exposed proof of that fact, and following months of protest and a public campaign led by the Belgian Intal group, Dexia announced, in June 2009 that financing Israeli settlements is contrary to the bank's code of ethics, and that the bank would stop providing new loans to West Bank settlements. However, when approached directly on Dec 30, 2009, the Dexia Israel bank gave the following statement: "Dexia Israel Bank gives services to local municipalities in Israel and there is no decision to discriminate [among them] by geographic location; additionally, the option of stopping the provision of services to any of them is not being considered". The bank's spokesperson made sure we understood that this reference to "local authorities in Israel" included Israeli settlements in Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights.
By providing these financial services, the bank helps sustain these settlements, which are illegal, according to international law. Moreover, the bank has failed to supply us with answers about financial services provided to Palestinian local authorities in the West Bank. If the bank provides services to Israeli settlements and not to their neighboring Palestinian local authorities, it in fact implements the structural discrimination created by the occupation.