A rental company with ties to a group of prominent Israeli settlers is turning its attention to Israel’s booming truck rental market, aiming to take on a bigger part in the sector.
Jehovah’s Witnesses has teamed up with Liftgate Trucking and Apta to develop a truck rental service that will allow Israelis to rent their jeeps on the cheap.
In addition to providing an alternative to leasing, Liftgate will also offer a free rental service to all drivers who want to rent trucks.JEHOVAH’S WITNESS, a prominent Israeli settler group, has pushed for an outright boycott of Israel, calling it a “terrorist state” and “an apartheid regime” that discriminates against the Palestinians.
Apta, meanwhile, has long been a vocal critic of Israel’s settlements, which critics say are designed to deny Palestinians their basic right of self-determination.
The Israeli company has a presence in the West Bank, which is home to about 300,000 Palestinians, according to figures compiled by the International Solidarity Movement.
It has also been accused of violating Israeli regulations by leasing trucks to Palestinians, which are not allowed under Israeli law.
The company said it would take a larger role in the Israeli truck rental sector after partnering with LiftGate, which also owns truck rental companies in the occupied West Bank.
It said the deal will enable the company to take “a greater role in providing a solution for Palestinians who are seeking a vehicle rental service, while also helping us fulfill our long-term goal of creating jobs for our customers and boosting our company’s financial viability.”
The Jerusalem Post reported that Liftgate and Jehovah were planning to start operating a truck service in Israel in 2017, and that they are considering the idea of expanding the service to other countries in the region.
Liftgate’s lease deal is one of several that have been approved by Israel’s High Court of Justice.
The court has been working on the case since October, when the court ruled that Israel’s settlement policies are illegal under international law.
In January, the court found that Israel is illegally occupying and expropriating land in the settlements.
Israel has not yet responded to the court’s decision, which the state is appealing.
In October, the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a petition from the international rights group Amnesty International seeking to delay implementation of a law that prohibits Israel from building more settlements.
Amnesty is calling on Israel to halt construction in areas the group says it has designated as “military zones” to stop “exploitation of the civilian population by the Israeli military.”
The Israeli government has defended the construction in the areas as necessary to protect “national security.”
The High Court also found that the state of Israel is violating international law by failing to compensate victims of forced displacement and other abuses, including by failing in its obligation to protect Palestinian civilians, including children.
The government is appealing the court decision.