G4S is a British-Danish private security company that provides services and equipment to Israeli prisons, checkpoints, the Apartheid Wall and the Israeli police.
In 2007, G4S signed a contract with the Israeli Prison Authority to provide security systems and other services for major Israeli prisons. G4S provides systems for the Ketziot and Megiddo prisons, which hold Palestinian political prisoners from occupied Palestinian territory inside Israel. Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits the transfer of prisoners from occupied territory into the territory of the occupier.
G4S also provides equipment for Ofer prison, located in the occupied West Bank, and for Kishon and Moskobiyyeh detention facilities, at which human rights organisations have documented systematic torture and ill treatment of Palestinian prisoners, including child prisoners. Defence for Children-Palestine (DCI-Palestine) has released an urgent appeal to end the practice of holding Palestinian children from the West Bank in solitary confinement in facilities in Israel. The organization has documented 53 such cases since 2008.
As Palestinian political prisoners begun a mass hunger strike on April 17, Palestinian organisations called for action to be taken to hold G4S accountable for its involvement with Israel’s unlawful detention of Palestinians.
G4S is also complicit with other aspects of Israel’s system of apartheid over the Palestinian people. G4S provides equipment and services to Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank that form part of the route of Israel’s illegal Wall and to the terminals isolating the occupied and besieged territory of Gaza. G4S has also signed contracts for equipment and services for the West Bank Israeli Police headquarters and to private businesses based in illegal Israeli settlements. A panel of legal experts concluded that G4S may be criminally liable for its activities in support of Israel’s illegal Wall and other violations of international law.
G4S has attempted to deflect the criticism it has been facing by announcing that it intends to end some aspects of its involvement in Israel’s illegal settlements by 2015. However, this response is unsatisfactory. The public announcements make no mention of the participation of G4S in the illegal detention and torture of Palestinian political prisoners inside Israel. Additionally, the announcement mentions only some aspects of the company’s involvement in Israel’s illegal settlements and pledges only to exit them at some undetermined point in the future.
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