In spite of the
company's continuous and
strenuous denials, Ahava
Dead Sea Laboratories, a private Israeli cosmetics company whose products are
manufactured in a Jordan Valley settlement, is exploiting Palestinian natural
resources. In a new report issued
this month, researchers at Who Profits (www.whoprofits.org) have
documented the illegality under International Law of Ahava's activities in the
occupied Palestinian territory.
A formal letter
from the Israeli Army's Civil Administration received by Who Profits in response
to a Freedom of Information Act request clearly states that Ahava operates a mud
excavation site for commercial use in the occupied Dead Sea area.
fact, Ahava's management has continued to deny the company's use of natural
resources from the occupied area. In a letter that was sent
to cosmetics retailers in 2010, Mr. Ya'akov Ellis, president and CEO of Ahava,
wrote: "The mud and minerals used in Ahava's cosmetics products are not
excavated in an occupied area.” While it is true that Ahava buys many of its
minerals from Dead Sea Works' excavation sites inside the green line, the
company excavates mud from occupied shores for use in its products. Who Profits
contacted Ahava, asking for the company's response to its findings, but has not
received any reply.
excavation of mud in the Occupied Territory without permission of the rightful
owners – the Palestinian people – and for the benefit of Israel and its
settlers, renders it complicit in Israel's violations of international
humanitarian law: “pillage”,
violation of the duty to administer the capital of the occupied territory as
permanent alteration of occupied territory,
property destruction lacking military necessity and the
transfer of civilians of the occupier into the territory it occupies.
which exports its products to more than 25 countries, labels its goods "Made in
Israel” though they are manufactured in the occupied West Bank. Ahava's
fraudulent labelling has been investigated in the U.K. and the Netherlands.
Currently both South Africa and Denmark have proposed stricter labelling for
Israeli settlement goods, including Ahava, so that consumers can make informed
choices about supporting Israel's occupation enterprise.
Since the occupation of the West Bank in 1967, Israel has
been systematically exploiting the resources of the Jordan Valley and the Dead
Sea area to a greater extent and more intensively than elsewhere in the West
Bank. Palestinian access to the shores of the Dead Sea is severely
restricted because of the extensive network of Israeli checkpoints in the
information please contact:
 See Art. 55 of the
 See Art. 43 of the Hague
 See Art. 23(g) of the Hague
Regulations, Art 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
 See Art. 49(6) of the Fourth