Friends of Al-Aqsa welcomes HSBC’s divestment from the arms trade with Israel, following a successful campaign from Palestine Solidarity Campaign, War On Want and Campaign Against Arms Trade.
HSBC has confirmed that it has divested completely from Elbit Systems, one of Israel’s largest weapons manufacturers. It is involved in manufacturing Drones, surveillance systems and other military technologies. Further, it supplies technology to Israel’s illegal Separation Wall and produces drones for the Israel Defence Forces. It has revenue of over US$3 billion and subsidiaries in America.
HSBC’s involvement with Elbit Systems was uncovered in 2017 by a War on Want report which highlighted the banks’ dealings with companies selling military technology to Israel, describing them as ‘crucial links in the chain’ of oppressing the Palestinians.
HSBC’s policy on defence equipment specifies that the bank would not provide financial services to companies involved in the sale or production of cluster weapons, despite Elbit’s production of cannons for cluster weapons alongside white phosphorous – the latter of which Israel has been accused of using indiscriminately. HSBC was also in contravention of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Friends of Al-Aqsa remain deeply concerned that HSBC continue to do business with more than a dozen firms which sell military technology and equipment used in human rights violations, including BAE Systems whose weapons have been used in war crimes by the IDF.