Room rental site threatened with legal action for listing West Bank as in Israel

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Room rental site threatened with legal action for listing West Bank as in Israel

The Israeli settlement of Ma'ale Adumim, 4.3 miles from Jerusalem.
The Israeli settlement of Ma'ale Adumim, 4.3 miles from Jerusalem.
The Israeli settlement of Ma'ale Adumim, 4.3 miles from Jerusalem.
The Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, 4.3 miles from Jerusalem.

Room rental website Airbnb has been threatened with legal action for listing rooms in Jewish settlements in the West Bank as being “in Israel”.

Palestinian leaders said the company’s location references were “strikingly illegal,” adding that it was “profiting from occupation”.

Some rooms for rent were advertised as having views of “spectacular Judean landscape” while others boasted of the area’s “tranquillity”. 

The company issued a short statement in response, saying: “We follow laws and regulations on where we can do business and investigate concerns raised about specific listings.”

Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, said: “Airbnb can and should immediately exclude all Israeli settlements from its offerings as a significant first step towards complying with its human rights obligations under international law.”

The Israeli ministry responsible for tourism recommended people “visiting and staying in every place throughout the country, as no distinction can be made between one place and the next”.

Meanwhile, settler leader Miri Maoz-Ovadia said the Israeli settlements benefited from “a thriving tourism industry, with hundreds of unique B&Bs that offer breath-taking views and world-class service”.

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