Wood Group: stop powering Israeli apartheid

Wood Group is a global oil and gas company with its headquarters in Aberdeen. The company works in 50 countries across the world, including Israel, and has stated that it is “…safe to say that Wood Group does business in a number of parts of the world where there are distressing conflicts which cause hardship and inequity” . In line with this irresponsible badge of honour, Wood Group is constructing a gas-fired power station in Israel; a power station that will fuel the institutions and enforcement of the Israeli apartheid state.

In November 2010 Wood Group signed a contract with Dorad Energy to build a natural gas power station in Ashkelon, Israel. This contract is worth approximately £563 million and the 800-megawatt power station will produce 8% of Israel’s electricity in the near future. The power plant is due to be completed in 2013. New gas fields have been discovered within Israel’s off-shore area and Wood Group are intending to expand their operations; Shlomo Cohen, the Group’s Israel manager last year stated that: “The company considers this project as a cornerstone for extensive operations in Israel”.
Wood Group’s actions will directly contribute to the ongoing subjugation and dispossession of the Palestinian people. It has been established that the power station will provide energy to the Israeli Ministry of Defence, Mekorot (Israel’s national water company), and various private companies, including Keter Plastic.
The Israeli Ministry of Defence is the central government ministry with responsibility for the enforcement of the brutal military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. This involves regular shootings, beatings, arrests, imprisonment without trial, torture, and numerous other egregious human rights abuses. In addition, the Ministry of Defence, through the ‘Israel Defence Force’, is directly responsible for the massacres which have taken place in the Gaza Strip in recent years as well as the ongoing routine killings of Gazans in the fields and fishing waters at the Strip’s boundaries.
Mekorot is heavily involved in the theft of Palestinian water resources and the apartheid water system. Jewish-Israeli settlers living in illegal colonies have uninterrupted and unlimited access to clean water while Palestinians have a water supply severely limited the occupation’s control over resources, the destruction of their wells, and the denial of decision-making power over their own water . Severe droughts affect Palestinians in summer months, while the supply to Israel’s colonies by Mekorot continues. These droughts, which are created by the apartheid water system, deny Palestinians the basic human rights to health, adequate housing, equality, and ability to benefit from their own natural resources.
Keter Plastic and its subsidiary Lipski are Israeli companies manufacturing plastic garden and household items. They both have factories in Barkan Industrial Zone, close to the settlements of Barkan and Ariel, in the occupied West Bank . Keter Plastic’s products also retail under the brand name Black and Decker . The energy produced by Wood Group’s power plant will therefore be directly powering illegal Israeli settlement enterprises.
The actions which Wood Group has taken in the construction of this power station will be directly fuelling the ongoing apartheid policies, infrastructure and institutions of the state of Israel. Wood Group should be made aware of its complicity in the ongoing dispossession and oppression of Palestinians and should cease immediately providing Israel with the means to implement apartheid. Wood Group should immediately withdraw from Israel and refrain from seeking future contracts with apartheid Israel.

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