The Italian company condemned for involvement in the Israeli high-speed railway that crosses the occupied Palestinian territories
On 30 November, the City Council of Rho, in the province of Milan, approved a resolution expressing "moral and political condemnation of Pizzarotti & C. S.p.A. for its participation in the project for the construction of the A1 Jerusalem - Tel Aviv railway".
Pizzarotti is a contractor for the Israeli project for the new A1 high-speed railway that will connect Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The new railway cuts through the occupied Palestinian territories for 6.5 km in clear violation of international law and human rights, including illegal Israeli confiscation of Palestinian land in the villages of Beit Iksa and Beit Sourik. In addition, the logistics center and road network for the massive tunnel boring machines and the transport of material from the tunnels excavated by Pizzarotti are causing the destruction of ancient olive groves and agricultural land recognized by the Israeli Supreme Court as a "fundamental resource for subsistence" for the communities. Art. 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits the occupying power from destroying real or personal property except in cases of absolute military necessity.
The Italian Coalition Stop That Train applauds the decision of the Rho City Council, which is based on respect for human rights and follows the example set by Deutsche Bahn. The German railways, on the recommendation of the German Minister of Transport, withdrew from the A1 project in March 2011.
While Pizzarotti betrays its own company code of ethics, which includes "support and respect for human rights", the Rho City Council upholds the principles of its Statute, recognizing "as essential values respect for life, the inviolability of human dignity, the rights of the person and the family."
Stop That Train calls on local governments throughout Italy to join the "Pizzarotti Free Cities" campaign, approving similar resolutions against Pizzarotti, until it ceases involvement in projects in violation of international law.
Italian Coalition Stop That Train
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Stephanie Westbrook is a U.S. citizen who has been living in Rome, Italy since 1991. She is active in the peace and social justice movements in Italy.