Settlement trade




South Africa has taken a significant step forward by requiring that all settlement products be labelled properly. However, proper labelling is only the first step. Now that the South African government has legally acknowledged that settlements goods cannot be labelled as ‘made in Israel’, because they are not produced in legal Israeli territory, it must end trade with the illegal Israeli settlements.


What does the law say?

International customary law stipulates that where a state violates international law, such as transferring its population into an occupied territory, all other states are obliged not to recognise the situation as lawful. This means that states must not provide recognition, aid or assistance to an unlawful situation, and must work with other states to bring an end to that illegal activity as swiftly as possible.

Businesses and states are undermining fundamental principles of international law by trading with the illegal settlements. The profits that stem from trade in settlement products flow back to the settlement enterprise in the form of private profit and municipal taxes etc., which assists in further entrenching the illegal settlements.

Assisting, abetting or in any way sustaining illegal settlements and their business enterprises falls foul of South Africa’s laws including the Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act, the Implementation of the Rome Statute Act and the Geneva Conventions Act

Open Shuhada Street (OSS) calls on President Jacob Zuma and Minister Rob Davies to immediately advise all companies in South Africa conducting trade with illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank that these settlements are in violation of international law and that doing business with them maintains conflict. In terms of our laws, the government is under an obligation to inform companies doing business with Israeli settlements that may be liable to legal sanctions under South African and international law. OSS together with our allies will now work towards formal legal sanctions against doing business with the Occupation.