A new petition has been launched demanding French insurance giant AXA Insurance divest from Israeli defence company, Elbit Systems.
The petition from SumOfUs, an international consumer group, is calling on AXA Insurance to immediately divest from Israeli weapons maker, Elbit Systems, arguing the leading French insurance company is violating international law by providing finance to the Israeli weapons manufacturer.
The campaign comes after the International Federation of Human Rights found that large French financial groups, including AXA, are directly or indirectly involved in Israel.
SumOfUs has argued that by financing Elbit Systems, and by investing in three major Israeli banks that finance Israel’s illegal settlement expansion, AXA is contributing to the suffering of the Palestinian people.
So far the petition has been signed by more than 96,000 people in France and around the world.
Details of the protest are yet to be confirmed but previous reports suggested one has been organised for 25 April, coinciding with the annual meeting of AXA Insurance shareholders. Members of SumOfUs, joined by the BDS Movement, were said to have planned to rally outside the entry of Le Palais des Congrès de Paris and call for AXA Insurance to divest from Israeli weapons manufacturers and banks.
The petition has accused Elbit Systems of providing weapons banned by international conventions, including chemical weapons like white phosphorus, which was used during the deadly offensives against civilians in Gaza in 2009. The petition also notes Elbit Systems' participation in building the massive "security wall" between Israel and the Gaza Strip.