Veolia, the world’s biggest listed water utility company, has announced that it will pull out of half of the 77 countries it operates in due to financial difficulties. Veolia is the subject of a mushrooming campaign by the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement due to its operations in Israel and in occupied Palestine (see still doing israels dirty work veolias tovlan landfill in the jordan valley). Campaigns by grassroots groups have cost the company billions of dollars through exclusion from public tenders. At the beginning of August 2011 it was announced that Ealing Council in London had failed to select Veolia for a comprehensive tender for its domestic refuse, street cleaning and parks maintenance contract. The contract is worth approx £300m in total over 15 years and one of Ealing Council’s largest single contracts.
Joint talk by Brighton Jordan Valley Solidarity and Corporate Watch
view at http://www.inminds.com/article.php?id=10503
Inside the Tovlan landfill
Video of work continuing at the Tovlan site here
As Corporate Watch has previously reported (see http://corporateoccupation.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/veolia-taking-out-israels-trash/ and http://corporateoccupation.wordpress.com/2010/01/28/veolias-dirty-business-the-tovlan-landfill/) Veolia run the Tovlan landfill site in the Occupied Jordan Valley as well as provide rubbish collection services to numerous settlements in the area. Whilst the company’s involvement in the East Jerusalem tram line project has gained world wide infamy, their operations in the Jordan Valley have as yet not got them into as much trouble. However, their very direct support of the settlement infrastructure in one of the most vulnerable areas of Palestine prove that they are more than willing to profit from Israel’s brutal occupation as long as they can get away with it. In recent correspondence with critics of their conduct Veolia have downplayed their business in the Jordan Valley, claiming that their site there is no longer operating. On a recent trip there Corporate Watch decided to pay them another visit to see if we could prove them wrong…
ONXY sign at Tovlan entrance
given by Corporate Watch at the Sheffield Anarchist Bookfair:
Veolia truck picking up rubbish from Tomer settlement in the occupied Jordan Valley
Veolia, possibly the international company providing the largest amount of services to Israel’s illegal settlements, has been observed picking up waste from the settlements of Tomer and Massua in the Jordan Valley. In 2009 Corporate Watch photographed Veolia garbage trucks picking up waste in Massua settlement. Last week we spotted a Veolia vehicle picking up rubbish from Tomer.
Veolia are also part of Citypass, the consortium building the Jerusalem Light Railway on occupied territory, and run bus routes between several of Israel’s illegal settlements. They also run the Tovlan landfill waste dump, again on occupied territory, in the Jordan Valley.
See www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=3433 for more details
For more information see Adri Nieuwhof in Electronic Intifada – http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10909.shtml
Veolia collecting rubbish from Massua settlement in the Jordan Valley
Tram trial run
East Jerusalem tram line signpost
Depot near Shu'afat
JCB machines working on the tramline
Palestinian workers working on the tramline
Veolia, a French multinational, are involved in several projects in occupied Palestine, providing services to Israel’s illegal settlements (see http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=3433, http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=3474 and http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=3514). Veolia has come under intense pressure to pull out of the Citypass Consortium, the group of companies responsible for building the Jerusalem Light Railway. After years of pressure Veolia has attempted to pull out of the scheme but has not been able to extricate itself from its contractual obligations to the Israeli government.
We decided to spend a few hours walking the route of the tramline from Jaffa St to the settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev. The line connects illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem to West Jerusalem and the Old City. We walked along Jaffa Street to the walls of the old city. Past the border police checking Palestinian IDs at New Gate and on to Damascus Gate. From Damascus Gate the line runs west stopping frequently outside the hotels and Jewish religious communities built on occupied Palestinan land on Nablus road. The tramway runs past the settlement buildings and Palestinian houses occupied by settlers in Sheikh Jarrah and stops outside the settlement of Giv’at Ha Mivtar. The line passes through the Ramot Eshkol area, a settlement built on the land of the Palestinian area of Lifta and splits into two with one line running straight to the settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev.
The line conveniently bypasses the Hizmah checkpoint leading to the lands of Shu’afat and Hizma. These lands are encircled by a 6 foot fence, rolls of barbed wire and a military road overlooked by a military watchtower. About half a kilometre along the road the tram line returns from its detour in the affluent community of Pisgat Ze’ev. Pisgat Ze’ev is a settlement of over 4000 people established in 1985 on the land of Palestinians from Beit Hanina and Hizma.
Ever since the first Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel in 2005, French multinational Veolia has been on campaigners’ list of boycott targets for its investment in the controversial East Jerusalem tram line and involvement in ‘settlers only’ bus routes. As a result of high profile boycott campaigns around the world, Veolia last year attempted to abandon its part in the tram line project (see previous articles: 1 | 2). But Veolia’s shameless facilitation of settlement infrastructure does not end there. On a recent visit to the area, Corporate Watch investigated the impact of Veolia’s other big operation on occupied land: the Tovlan landfill. Continue reading
Veolia sponsors Wildlife Photographer of the Year
This year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition is being sponsored by Veolia Environmental Services, which is accused by campaigners of profiting from the Israeli occupation of Palestine (see http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10909.shtml). The international showcase for the “very best” nature photography is owned the Natural History Museum and the BBC Wildlife Magazine. The award is no stranger to controversial sponsorship deals; recent years saw fossil fuel giant, Shell, acting as sponsor.
Over the last year Corporate Watch has reported on the growing international campaign against Veolia and its attempts to extract itself from a controversial contract with the Israeli government. Continue reading