This briefing explores JCB’s activities in Palestine, and details the use of JCBequipment in Israel’s human rights abuses. War on Want is calling for people tocontact JCB to raise concerns over its activities in Palestine, and to demand that thecompany ends its arms sales to Israel and takes steps to ensure its equipment is notused employed by Israel to commit war crimes against the Palestinian people. Unless JCB takes immediate action to prevent its equipment being used in human rightsabuses against the Palestinian people, continued sales to Israel could be seen astantamount to complicity in violations of international law.
2. Company Information
J C Bamford Excavators Limited (JCB) is one of the largest global constructionmanufacturing companies, and operates 18 factories across the UK, Brazil, NorthAmerica, India, China and Germany. It is a private limited company wholly owned bythe Bamford family. The Chief Executive Officer of JCB is Alan Blake, and theChairman is Sir Anthony Bamford. Bamford was knighted in 1990, and serves as aBusiness Ambassador to UK Trade & Investment. JCB makes over 300 different products and operates in 150 countries through 1,500dealer depot locations. More than 75% of its machines are produced for export.
JCB’s global headquarters are in Staffordshire, and they operate a small office inLondon in the upmarket Mayfair district for senior staff.
3. JCB in Palestine
JCB equipment has been used by Israeli forcesto target the homes and land of Palestinians inOccupied East Jerusalem, Gaza, the JordanValley and across the West Bank. This rangesfrom the use of JCB equipment in theconstruction of illegal settlements andsettlement infrastructure to the demolition of Palestinian homes, mosques and olive trees.
JCB’s main partner and distributor is theIsraeli company Comasco. JCB dominates theIsraeli market with a 65% market share of allexcavators, and a 90% market share of commonly used loading vehicles.
JCBequipment has been widely documented in use not only in the demolition of Palestinian property, but for construction of illegal settlement infrastructure byIsrael.
For instance, JCB equipment has been used in building the Jerusalem lightrailway which connects West Jerusalem to illegal settlements on Palestinian land.According to the
website entry on JCB by the Coalition of Women forPeace (CWP):
CB equipment arrives in Silwan for a demolition,protected by the Israeli military, February
2012Photo: Wadi Hilweh Centre