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Monday, August 2, 2021

QAYON launches boycott campaign against security giant G4S for complicity in Israeli crimes

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The company holds 50% of Policity Ltd., which is contracted by the Israeli police to build and operate Israel’s National Police Academy.

Local independent pro-Palestine youth body Qatar Youth Opposed to Normalisation [QAYON] has urged the local community to boycott British multinational security services company G4S for its direct involvement with Israel.

QAYON called on government and private sectors to terminate their contract with the security company to avoid its expansion in Qatar and to “stop contributing to Palestinian suffering”, citing G4S provision of security equipment to Israel while training thousands of its police.

“The BDS movement [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] called for placing these companies at the top of the list of priorities because of their severe involvement in the crimes of the Zionist occupation, as they directly contribute to the detention of Palestinian adults and children. Accordingly, it violates not only humanitarian principles, but also international law,” read QAYON’s statement.

The youth body also called on individuals and companies to opt for alternative security companies to secure their events, rather than G4S.

In response to the campaign, people on Twitter have also stressed the importance of the targeted boycott of the firm for being complicit in the arrests and torture of thousands of Palestinians living under the illegal Israeli occupation.

“The call to boycott G4S is one of the most important ones. It also emphasises the extent to which BDS is not only a consumer boycott. Your workplace uses G4S? Pressure them. Your university uses G4S? Pressure them. You know someone who uses G4S at their company? Pressure them,” said one Twitter user in response to QAYON’s statement.

Wider campaign

The Qatari independent youth group’s campaign is part of global calls for the boycott of G4S.

According to the main website of the BDS Movement, calls for boycott started in 2012 when over 1,000 political prisoners in Israeli jails went on a month-long hunger strike, prompting Palestinian Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association ‘Addameer’ to launch a campaign against the security firm.

“G4S provided systems for the Ketziot and Megiddo prisons, which hold Palestinian political prisoners from occupied Palestinian territory inside Israel in contravention of international law,” read a statement by Addameer and several other rights groups.

In March 2016, the company announced that it would sell its Israeli subsidiary within “12 to 24 months” and ended its involvement with Israeli prisons in December of the same year, however it maintained its affiliation with the Israeli Ministry of National Security and Israeli National Police.

According to the BDS Movement site, G4S holds 50% of Policity Ltd., which shares a contract with the Israeli police to build and operate Israel’s National Police Academy, making it complicit in the occupation’s illegal actions.

Read also: Qatar football clubs urged to boycott Puma over Israeli violations

“Policity, the company operated and partially owned by G4S, is responsible for at least 40% of the training instruction of Israeli police, amounting to about 40,000 hours in the most recent contract,” said the BDS Movement.

The training provided by the company includes crowd control, house raids, interrogation techniques, target shooting and undercover operations.

Several firms around the world also took action since the launch of the campaign.

In June 2016, Kuwait’s Public Institution for Social Security [PIFSS] divested its funds from G4S, following action taken by three UN agencies in Jordan to terminate their contracts with the company.

Israel’s unlawful arrests

Israel has been conducting illegal arrests of Palestinians, mainly youth and minors, who have been protesting the occupation and the forced dispossession of Palestinian lands for decades.

Statistics by Addameer show that the total number of political prisoners stands at at least 5,300.

The Palestinian rights group also says that there are currently 250 children detained in Israeli prisons, in addition to 543 other prisoners serving life sentences.


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