France - As 2017 marks fifty years of the Israeli occupation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Israeli government's policy of colonization has accelerated drastically in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The very existence of Israeli settlements is illegal under international law. This case study highlights the links between some French banks and insurance companies and Israeli banks and companies involved in the maintenance and development of Israeli settlements. Five major French financial groups - BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Societe Generale, BPCE, AXA - manage financial holdings or hold shares in Israeli banks and companies that contribute to the financing of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory and provide vital services for maintenance and development of settlements, such as the construction of houses or factories, the connection to telephone and internet networks, and the development of surveillance equipment. To date, no French bank has committed to no longer finance entities that contribute to the development of settlements in the Palestinian territory, despite the obvious violations of human rights, and despite commitments to respect human rights mentioned in the report and their adherence to one or more voluntary guidelines.
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