G4S’s exploits in the Holy Land, where it brazenly profiteers from Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian Territories, should have rung alarm bells at Cambridgeshire Police HQ long before the Olympics fiasco.
G4S provides equipment to Israeli prisons in which Palestinian political prisoners, including children, are illegally held and tortured. The Fourth Geneva Convention forbids Israel from transferring Palestinian prisoners to prisons inside Israel, but that doesn’t bother the Israelis – or G4S.
Thousands are illegally banged-up at facilities supplied or serviced by G4S.
G4S also provides equipment and services to illegal Israeli settlements, checkpoints and the infamous Apartheid Wall, all of which are evil symbols of the longest and most brutal military occupation of modern times.
“Israel systematically denies Palestinian political prisoners their basic rights, including the right to a fair trial and to protection from arbitrary detention and torture. How can the UK government give lucrative public contracts to a company that has chosen to facilitate the denial of such basic rights?” asks Diana Neslen of Jews for Justice for Palestinians.
GS4 says: “We take our ethical responsibilities very seriously and operate to high standards around the world.”
But Christian Aid points out: “International companies such as G4S should not be [doing anything] that contributes to human rights violations in occupied Palestinian territory, including working with businesses in illegal settlements.
“Working inside them only perpetuates their existence, entrenches occupation, obstructs Palestinian economic development and thus puts peace even further out of reach.”
Christian Aid and the Quakers are calling for a UK government ban on the import of goods from the 100-plus illegal Israeli settlements, many of which G4S are doing business with – an appalling error of judgement in many people’s opinion.
Given the contempt G4S apparently has for international law and human rights, is this a fit and proper organisation to run the support services of our police force?
(former member of Cambridgeshire Police Authority)