A picture taken on January 30, 2018 shows the Israeli controversial separation wall surrounding a Palestinian residential area in Kufr Aqab of East Jerusalem. AFP / ABBAS MOMANI
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The U.N. human rights office said Wednesday that 206 companies – mostly Israeli and American – are facing a review of their business practices involving Israeli settlements, which are considered illegal under international law.The office said it had contacted 64 companies, but it would not identify them until all 206 companies had been contacted – and possibly not at all. Of those companies, 143 are based in Israel or the settlements, and 22 in the United States. Of the 19 other countries linked to such companies, Germany is home to seven and the Netherlands to five.Ultimately, the rights office's review could lead to a public naming and shaming of companies for their activities linked to the settlements and give an U.N. imprimatur to efforts championed by the boycott, divest and sanction movement, which has been primarily a grass-roots campaign to pressure Israel through action against companies.
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