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HRW: Israeli banks complicit in settlement expansion

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Israeli banks complicit in settlement expansion: HRW

A leading rights group says Israeli banks are contributing to the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank by providing loans and mortgages for construction there.

A report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) released on Wednesday says no Israeli law requires the banks to provide such services for the settlements. It says the banks have continued to do so regardless of their human rights obligations.

"Israeli banks are financing settlement construction and facilitating settlement expansion as a matter of choice, not because they are somehow required to do so under domestic law," said Sari Bashi, Israel and Palestine advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.

The group is calling on the banks to extricate themselves from the settlements or face the risk of action from shareholders.

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