British Construction Giant JCB’s Products Used for Palestinian House Demolitions

Amnesty International reported that J.C. Bamford Excavators Limited’s diggers and excavators have been used to demolish Palestinian homes and in the construction of settlements in the occupied territories, both of which are widely considered violations of international law. JCB is among more than 100 businesses listed in a United Nations’ database of companies that operate in West Bank settlements.

JCB’s excavator used to demolish a Palestinian home in occupied East Jerusalem (Photo: Amnesty International)

Amnesty said in a report Thursday that JCB’s equipment is sold to an Israeli intermediary, who then sells it onward to clients that include the Defense Ministry. Amnesty claimed that the use of a middleman does not absolve JCB of the responsibility to ensure its equipment is not used to violate human rights.

In a major new report – JCB Off Track – Amnesty reveals that JCB’s sole agent in Israel has contracts for the maintenance of JCB’s equipment with Israel’s Ministry of Defense, including for the type of bulldozer known to have been used in the extensive and ongoing demolition of Palestinian properties and the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, which are illegal under international law.

Alongside its 92-page report, Amnesty’s specialist Evidence Lab has produced an interactive digital map showing dozens of specific incidents where JCB machinery was used in recent years to demolish residential and farm buildings belonging to Palestinians, to destroy water pipes and uproot large numbers of olive trees and other agricultural produce.