G4S also has contracts with the Israeli government to provide equipment and services to checkpoints that make up the Apartheid wall, crossings that enforce the siege of Gaza and Israeli Police stations. G4S guards operate at various Israeli military bases.
In 2012, at the height of a historic hunger strike by Palestinian political prisoners, Palestinian organisations called for action to hold G4S accountable for its role in Israel’s prisons.
International campaigning has had a huge impact on G4S:
– in June 2014, the Gates Foundation divested the whole of its $170m holding in the company as a result of an international campaign
– universities in Oslo and Bergen refused to give G4S contracts over its role in Israel’s prison system following student campaigns. In the UK, at least five student unions voted to cancel contracts with G4S, and students successfully pressured two other universities not to renew contracts with the company
– major charities in South Africa, the Netherlands and elsewhere terminated contracts with G4S
– the US Methodist Church, the largest protestant church in the US, divested from G4S after coalition campaigning brought the issue to a vote.
Facing mounting international pressure, G4S announced in 2014 that G4S “did not expect to renew” its contract with the Israeli Prison Service when it expires in 2017, and it has also said it will end some aspects of its involvement in illegal Israeli settlements.
However, G4S continues to profit from Israel’s abhorrent prison system and has not withdrawn from any of its contracts with Israel. A company that commits serious human rights abuses cannot be trusted to keep its word. The campaign against G4S must continue until it entirely ends its role with the Israeli Prison Service and all aspects of Israel’s Apartheid regime.