Sued for Laundering Profits from Israeli War Crimes in Palestine

The European Legal Support Center (ELSC), Al-Haq, SOMO and The Rights Forum have filed a criminal complaint to the Dutch Public Prosecution Service to hold to account for profiting from the commission of war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT).


The European Legal Support Center (ELSC), Al-Haq, SOMO and The Rights Forum have filed a criminal complaint to the Dutch Public Prosecution Service to hold to account for profiting from the commission of war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT).

This case is being brought after years of research into’s activities in illegal Israeli settlements as part of a longer trajectory of actions on businesses profiting from abuse in OPT. By facilitating the rental of vacation homes on land stolen from the indigenous Palestinian population, profits from war crimes.

‘Profits from illegal Israeli settlements flow into the Dutch financial system via listings’

Profiting from war crimes is illegal under Dutch criminal law, specifically article 1 (4) of the Dutch International Crimes Act (Wet Internationale Misdijven). By profiting from serious violations of international humanitarian law, is bringing proceeds of crime into the Dutch financial system – which means that the company is guilty of money laundering, the claimants assert. The Dutch Public Prosecution Service has a duty to safeguard the integrity of the Dutch financial system by prosecuting this conduct. is aware of the legal risks involved in these activities yet opted to continue offering accommodations in illegal settlements. The company for this reason has been blacklisted by the UN Human Rights Council since 2020. Reports by human rights organisations, including  Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have highlighted the complicity of the tourism industry in illegal Israeli settlements.

‘The goal is to end corporate impunity surrounding profiting from illegal Israeli settlements’

With this criminal complaint, our organisations aim to end’s involvement in international crimes on stolen Palestinian land. We also aim to end the climate of corporate impunity surrounding profiting from Israel’s violations of international humanitarian law.

Settlements are illegal under international law, based on systematic human rights violations, and acts amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity and are harmful to any prospect of justice and peace. The International Criminal Court in The Hague is investigating Israeli settlement construction and European governments have clearly warned companies under their jurisdiction about the legal risks stemming from operating in illegal Israeli settlements. The Dutch government claims to discourage companies from doing business in them, and explicitly puts the responsibility to conform to the law on companies themselves.

The world is witnessing a brutal aggression against the Palestinian people. The International Court of Justice has warned of ‘plausible’ genocide being committed against Palestinians in Gaza. At the same time, repression and violence against Palestinians in the West Bank has reached unprecedented levels, with record amounts of land being stolen for the construction and expansion of illegal settlements. Bringing to account individuals and corporations complicit in and profiting from these crimes is today more urgent than ever before.

Early May, SOMO asked for its response to research findings regarding its involvement in Israeli settlements and the legal implications thereof. In its response, states that it “wholeheartedly disagree[s]” with our “allegations of illegal activity.” The company does not engage with the accusation of money laundering and claims that there are no laws prohibiting listings in Israeli settlements. Instead, they claim that U.S. laws would prohibit from divesting from Israeli settlements.

Dr Susan Power from Al-Haq warned that, is exploiting Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Palestinian people for commercial profit. Palestinians are subjugated, tortured and killed under Israel’s brutal settler colonial apartheid regime. By profiting from the illegal settlement enterprise, benefits from the systematic deprivation of the Palestinian people of their lands and natural resources, entrenches the apartheid regime, and frustrates the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to exercise self-determination. This is the ultimate denial of freedom. We demand that stop violating the law.

The company’s involvement in Israeli violations of international law also contravenes widely recognised business and human rights (BHR) norms, such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, which the company explicitly claims to respect.

added Lydia de Leeuw from SOMO.

We have been working on this complaint for years, responding to calls of Palestinians who have seen their property being stolen to end up as profitable vacation homes for settlers on Efforts by human rights groups, activists, and even concerned employees within the company, to warn the company about its operations in the OPT have been systematically ignored. These unlawful operations support a system of settler-colonialism and racial domination that amounts to apartheid, but companies profiting from those violations and facilitating them hardly face legal scrutiny. This is unacceptable and must stop.

said Daan de Grefte, Legal Officer at the ELSC.

The Dutch government refuses to take meaningful action against the continued colonization of occupied Palestinian land, or against Dutch companies profiting from these crimes. It’s time to end this impunity and expose the extent of the harm that operations of companies like inflict on the indigenous Palestinian population.

said Edwin van ‘t Pad from The Rights Forum.

West Bank settlements are clearly established by war crimes. Profiting from these illicit economies means profiting from war crimes. Dutch criminal law is very clear: profiting from war crimes is illegal and can be qualified as money laundering. There is no doubt that is aware of the illegality of these settlements. They have been requested by numerous actors, on multiple occasions, to stop their operations on stolen Palestinian land. This criminal complaint is a measure of last resort. We expect this case to serve as an example to other companies profiting from war crimes.

said Willem Jebbink, attorney at Jebbink Soeteman Advocaten.

This case was launched with the support of the PIPD (Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy).