Archbishop Tutu urges Dutch pension fund to pull out of Israeli banks

South Africa’s archbishop Desmond Tutu has urged civil service pension fund ABP to stop investing in three Israeli banks and ‘strike a powerful, non-violent blow for peace in the Middle East’.

The appeal came ahead of ABP’s monthly management board meeting and would be discussed, a spokeswoman for the fund – which is one of the biggest in the world – told Reuters. ABP has holdings totaling over €50m in the three banks.

Tutu said in his letter the investments ‘enable the expansion of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territories, and profit from the illegal seizure of this land’.

‘Your leadership could help to change the existing dynamic between Israel and Palestine – and stop ABP from being tainted by its collaboration with Israel’s occupation,’ the arch bishop said.

In January, Dutch health service pension fund PGGM pulled its investments from five Israeli banks.

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