Dutch group slams bid offer to Israeli


PressTV –  Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:55AM

A bus belonging to the Israeli public transport company Egged (file photo)
A pro-Palestinian group in the Netherlands has protested a Dutch government decision to grant a bus service contract to an Israeli firm that backs Tel Aviv’s settlement expansions in the West Bank.

The Dutch group, Working Together for Palestine, lodged the complaint after the Israeli company, Egged, won a public tender to run bus services in Waterland, a region north of Amsterdam, at the end of 2011, Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported on its website on Saturday.

“Egged makes money from trampling on the rights of Palestinians,” Radio Netherlands Worldwide announced, quoting an activist with the pro-Palestinian group.

The Dutch activists say that the granting of the public contract to the Israeli company amounts to Amsterdam’s indirect support for Tel Aviv’s settlements policy in the West Bank.

The group stressed that it does not initiate a boycott of Egged services in Waterland for the sole reason that there is no other alternative bus service in the area.

An official of the Dutch FNV trade union federation, however, stated that some bus drivers have expressed concerns that they might become the target of outraged protesters seeking to vent their anger.

Earlier in July, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned acts of Islamophobia in the Netherlands and expressed concern over the hateful and provocative remarks made by a number of Dutch politicians against Islam and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

“Repeated cases of insult to individuals or their beliefs by people, organizations or radical groups, especially when supported by governments, are unacceptable and cause grave concern,” OIC foreign ministers said in a statement at a meeting in the Kazakh capital, Astana.

OIC chief Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu also issued a separate statement in which he condemned Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders for his insulting remarks against Islam, calling on the Dutch government to halt the Islamophobia campaign by the rightwing politician.

Ihsanoglu also warned that Amsterdam’s silence on the issue could endanger the country’s relations with the Muslim world.



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