Recently members of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign handed out information flyers to shareholders of the Irish construction firm Cement Roadstone Holdings (CRH) on 5th May, at the companys Annual General Meeting. CRH own a 25% stake in the Mashav Group, an Israeli holding company for Nesher Cement, who is the sole producer of cement in Israel.
Protesters claimed that cement from the company is being used in the construction of the Apartheid Wall, currently being constructed by Israel in the West Bank. Given Nesher’s monopoly position in the region, Amnesty International earlier this year raised questions as to the company’s involvement in the construction of the Apartheid Wall*.
An IPSC press release on the event reads:
“The Apartheid Wall, which is 8 metres high in places, encircles Palestinian towns and villages and cuts through some of the most fertile Palestinian agricultural lands. The West Bank city of Qalqilya, with over 45,000 inhabitants, has been completely surrounded by the Wall with only one gateway in or out, which is controlled by Israeli troops. A spokesperson for the IPSC said, “It is shameful that an Irish company should profit from something that is so unjust, so immoral and causing so much destruction. This wall is cutting communities off from each other and their land, and some towns like Qalqilya are completely imprisoned. It is ripping families apart because those left on the wrong side are completely stranded.” “If CRH do have any involvement at all with the building of this wall, or with the construction of any of the illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, then the only moral option would be for them to cease doing so and to divest from these Israeli companies immediately.” A shareholder at the AGM asked about CRHs involvement with the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank and noted that according to their annual report, “Cement demand in Israel was reduced, but the market in the West Bank and Gaza improved”. The protest at the CRH AGM comes a day after solidarity activists handed in a petition to the Irish government calling for sanctions against Israel if human rights abuses and the construction of the wall are not stopped. The petition was signed by 275 European politicians and backed by 52 Irish parliamentarians from all parties.”
For more information contact:
Raymond Deane: 01 2841295
Tom Lonergan: 086 8580158 (attended the CRH AGM)
Caoimhe Butterly: 087 2134160
* The Amnesty International press release can be viewed here.