Airbnb removes Israeli West Bank settlements listings

A man walks past a logo of Airbnb after a news conference in Tokyo Japan

The move, which affects 200 listings, has been widely praised by Palestinians and their supporters.

Airbnb said Monday it will remove such listings, just ahead of the release of a Human Rights Watch report criticising the inclusion of settlements.

Entitled "Bed-and-Breakfast on Stolen Land", the report says that Israeli settlements' discrimination against Palestinians uniquely violates humanitarian law and Airbnb's nondiscrimination policy. According to Airbnb's website, these restrictions were made "to comply with worldwide regulations that restrict the use of our site by residents of certain countries" and are not related to the company's newly announced "disputed region" policy.

The company conceded that "people will disagree with this decision".

Human Rights Watch is publishing a report on November 20th that will document Airbnb's "human rights harms" from allowing listings in the settlements.

"The Tourism Minister has ordered his office to formulate immediate measures to limit the company's activity throughout the country", Levin's office said in a statement.

Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin described it as a "disgraceful surrender", while senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat called it an "initial positive step", NPR reported.

Nick Papas, a spokesman for Airbnb, declined to comment on the officials' statements.

U.S. threatens to impose more trade tariffs on China
China's President Xi Jinping (習近平) stood left in the front row, so no interaction with the Taiwanese envoy occurred, CNA reported. Pence said the USA "commitment to the Indo-Pacific region has never been stronger".

Activists will continue to monitor Airbnb "to make sure that no more illegal rental properties built on Palestinian land are listed on the site", Wong said, and would urge the company to make amends to Palestinians by donating profits from the listings to Palestinian organizations "working to provide services to people amidst the Israeli occupation".

For years, critics have accused Airbnb of benefiting from rentals in Jewish outposts at the center of conflict in the region.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation's (PLO) secretary-general has said it is "crucial for Airbnb to follow the position of global law that Israel is the occupying power and that Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, are illegal and constitute war crimes".

The Anti-Defamation League has condemned the BDS movement as "the most prominent effort to undermine Israel's existence" and "rampant with misinformation and distortion".

Hier and Cooper called Airbnb's decision "double standard anti-Semitism pure and simple", and noted that Airbnb has listings in territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority, "which names schools and shopping centers in honor of mass murderers who have killed innocent civilians".

But in Israel, Airbnb's decision drew ire.

Security Council have said settlements on land captured by Israel are illegal under worldwide law.

Despite the vote, the United States went ahead with the embassy transfer on May 14, triggering demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim countries.

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