Pressure put on HeidelbergCement to close West Bank quarry

Pressure put on HeidelbergCement to close West Bank quarry
Published: 06 May 2016


Germany's HeidelbergCement is looking for a new site in the Israeli-occupied West Bank following long-standing criticism from investors about its operations in parts of the territory that are fully under Israel's control.

HeidelbergCement excavates sand and gravel in the West Bank's resource-rich Area C, which is administered by Israel and is home to the vast majority of Jewish settlements. The Palestinians want all of the West Bank, including Area C, which accounts for 60 per cent of the territory, for their own state.

An umbrella organisation of critical shareholders has long called for HeidelbergCement to give up its operations in the territory, which it acquired when it bought British company Hanson in 2007, saying the quarry violates international law.

Closing the quarry, which employs around 100 people, would not make sense for the shareholders or the workers and the company cannot sell the open cut mine due to a lack of interest, he said. As a result, it is aiming for a joint venture with a Palestinian mine operator.

The company will look for a new quarry in Area B, where Palestinians share responsibility for security with Israel and have sovereignty over the economy.