More than a decade after winning the tender for the construction and operation of the Jerusalem Light Rail (JLR), Transdev, a subsidiary of the French transnational corporation Veolia Environnement, has sold all of its holdings in the JLR to a group of Israeli investors.
The approval of the deal earlier this month by the Israeli authorities and the completion of the ownership transfer marks an end to Veolia’s operations in Israeli market in general and to its involvement in the controversial JLR project in particular. Nevertheless, the company has left behind irreversible facts on the ground.
The construction of the railway involved the expropriation of occupied land not done for the benefit of the occupied population, in contradiction to international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention. According to Who Profits: “The JLR continues to serve the Jewish settlement neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem and passes daily through the Palestinian neighborhoods of Beit Hanina and Shuafat; by doing so it will play a substantial role in the reinforcement of Israeli sovereignty over occupied East Jerusalem for years to come.”