Dutch firm divests from eastern Jerusalem project

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (JTA) — A major Dutch engineering company has pulled out of a project in eastern Jerusalem.

The pullout, announced Friday by Royal HaskoningDHV, came after the Dutch ministry of foreign affairs reportedly advised the firm, one of Holland’s largest infrastructure firms, to terminate its involvement in the planning of a sewage treatment plant because the project was based beyond the Green Line demarcating Israel’s pre-1967 borders.

“In the course of the project, and after due consultation with various stakeholders, the company came to understand that future involvement in the project could be in violation of international law,” the company’s statement read. “This has led to the decision of Royal HaskoningDHV to terminate its involvement in the project.”

Han ten Broeke of Holland’s ruling party, VVD, last week asked Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans of Labor to explain why the ministry was “discouraging companies from participating in projects that provide clean water to Palestinians,” according to ANP, the Dutch news agency.

Timmermans replied that his office did not pressure the company, according to the report.