Vector Should Pull Out of Investment Deal with Israel

Press Release – Palestine Solidarity Network

MEDIA RELEASE 21.10.2018

PALESTINE SOLIDARITY NETWORK

Vector Should Pull Out of Investment Deal with Israeli Weapons Providers

The Palestine Solidarity Network is saying energy company Vector should immediately pull out of its just revealed investment deals with Israeli weapons providers mPrest and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

Spokesperson, Janfrie Wakim , says Entrust, which is a majority shareholder in Vector, should demand disinvestment in mPrest, if Vector fails to take the step by itself.

“Entrust’s chair, William Cairns, has been quoted as saying the Israeli weapons company investment is a matter for the Vector board. He is being disingenuous. Entrust has called for the resignation of Vector’s chair over another matter and it appoints directors onto the Vector board. Of course it has the power. And it has the responsibility on behalf of its 331,000 Auckland region households to make sure Vector pulls out of the deal,” Wakim says.

“Vector itself is just as bad. A spokesperson has been quoted as claiming she has no knowledge of Rafael’s weapons systems. On the mPrest website she could readily find an Israeli news video last year featuring Vector chair Michael Stiassny with mPrest founder, ex Navy Colonel, Natan Barak, who explains the military basis of mPrest and mentions its relationship with Rafael Weapons Systems.” Vector is the second largest shareholder in mPrest.

Rafael supplies the Israeli military with automated machine gun technology to shoot Palestinians who enter the kill-zone inside Gaza which Israel has imposed along its de-facto border with Gaza. Rafael is a major shareholder in mPrest which itself manufactures control systems for rockets the Israeli forces use.

Recently, Israeli military killed another six Palestinians in Gaza, as they protested their right to return to the lands Israel confiscated when Israel was created.

“Both Rafael and mPrest supply military equipment to Israel to enforce its now decade long military blockade of Gaza. Israel has just again banned fuel supplies entering Gaza and once again broken its Oslo Agreement and restricted Gaza fishing to depleted areas three nautical miles from the coast. Life in Gaza has become a nightmare of death and siege.”

“Our community should not be complicit with stakeholding in companies which provide the weapons to enable Israel to enforce the blockade and flagrantly breach its international obligations, by not allowing exiled Palestinians to return to their homeland.”

“In 2012, the New Zealand SuperFund pulled out of its investments in four Israeli companies which were building illegal settlements in the Israeli occupied West Bank. Palestinians have called for an international boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel until it meets its clearly spelt out human rights obligations.”

“We are very interested in what views the candidates in this month’s Entrust elections have on this matter. If Vector does not immediately pull out of its contaminated deal with mPrest then our organisation will take an active interest in Vector’s Annual Meeting in Auckland on 29 October.”

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