In 2012 Richard Falk, Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights for the UN’s Human Rights Council, called for a boycott of “businesses that are profiting from Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian lands.” Hewlett Packard (HP) is one of the companies targeted by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement.
Hewlett Packard (HP), one of the world’s largest IT companies, is one of the main suppliers of IT systems equipment and services to the Israeli military and security sectors, and to some settlements. Thus Hewlett Packard plays a key role in the occupation and the violation of Palestinian rights.
Hewlett Packard is one of the largest providers of information technology equipment and services, supplying individual, business and government clients around the world. It was the 19th-largest US corporation in 2015, with a market valuation of over US$56 billion and over 300,000 employees.  It is one of the world’s top 100 companies in arms production and military services.  As well as many contracts with the US prison, security and military services, HP has substantial contracts for information infrastructure with the UK Ministry of Defence.
The company split into two divisions in November 2015: HP Inc, which deals with hardware – computers, printers and ink, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, devoted to research and solutions for IT systems. It is this latter company that is heavily involved in maintaining the Occupation.
A leader in corporate responsibility?
HP claims to be committed to human rights: its 2014 sustainability report states, “We take an uncompromising stance on human rights in our own operations, and we make compelling arguments to others to do the same.” The company’s Global Human Rights Policy  says that “HP upholds and respects human rights as reflected in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the UN Global Compact [a call to companies to promote human rights and sustainability], and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.” HP’s Human Rights policy begins with the first two principles from the Global Compact – the promise to “Comply with laws and regulations where HP does business and adopt and apply international standards where laws are less stringent”; and to “Complete due diligence to avoid complicity in human rights violations”.
So how come HP ignores international law and rights for Palestinians?
How HP profits from the Occupation
Hewlett Packard has been in Israel since 1957, and according to the company itself, “Israel is one of the few countries where HP has a massive presence.” With nearly 6,000 employees working in electronics factories, software development and research centres – including HP’s largest research and development centre anywhere in the world – and contracts for computer and database services to public bodies such as hospitals, Hewlett Packard is the second largest investor in Israeli IT.
Supporting the Israeli military
HP has won a series of major contracts with the Ministry of Defence and various sections of the Israeli Army in the last ten years, such as:
- administering the Navy’s IT infrastructure – thus HP has helped enforce the naval blockade on the Gaza Strip, in operation since 2007
- supply of all computer equipment to the Israeli military, 2009-12
- In 2011 HP won a four-year contract for upgrading management systems and data-processing for the army
Also in 2011, HP won Israel’s largest ever servers tender – a five-year contract worth nearly £90million, to supply and manage all computer servers for the Ministry of Defense and IDF. (This contract was largely sponsored by US military aid).
Supporting Israel’s apartheid
HP supplies the biometric ID cards that are being introduced for Israeli citizens. It was contracted to manufacture the cards and gather the data for them in 2008. The ID system distinguishes between Jewish and Palestinian citizens.
Restricting Palestinians’ movements
HP biometric data technology is installed in major checkpoints, controlling Palestinians entering, leaving and moving around in the occupied territories. Hewlett Packard Enterprises is responsible for the development, expansion, maintenance and ongoing support of the Basel system – an automated biometric recognition system.
Supporting the Israeli prison service
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has been involved in the information systems of Israel Prison Service since 2007. It has many contracts running, such as to maintain systems and servers, email storage and archiving.
Supporting illegal settlements
- HPE employs a number of people in software development in Beithar Illit settlement.
- HPE provides IT services and technologies to two of the biggest settlements – Modi’in Illit and Ariel.
 Fortune 500
 HP Global Human Rights Policy
Know your facts about Hewlett Packard
Also, much like UK corporation G4S, alongside its investment in Israel’s discriminatory infrastructure, HP is heavily involved in servicing the prison-industrial complex and homeland security in the United States. For homeland security much of the work relates to immigration. For more information click here.
Human Rights Violations of The Israeli Occupation
The Wall & Checkpoints
The following link provides information regarding violations associated with the Wall and checkpoints
Detailing the following:
- International Court of Justice (ICJ) advisory opinion
- UN resolution to abide by the ICJ opinion
- Violation of Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- UN report on Checkpoints and Barriers: Searching for livelihoods in the West Bank and Gaza – Gender Dimensions of Economic Collapse
The following link provides links to Amnesty International’s reports on Israeli Military war crimes.
The Israeli army and navy are responsible for countless war crimes in Gaza, Lebanon and the West Bank. See the following Amnesty International publications related to: Operation Cast Lead, The Siege of Gaza and the attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.
The following page provides information on the illegality of settlements including links to breached articles 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention (which forbids an occupier from transferring its own civilians into the territory it occupies) and 55 of The Hague regulations (which states the occupying power’s role is to safeguard occupied properties and maintain the status quo).
Also provides links to pages from B’tselem (The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.
Israeli Prison Service
Lawyers For Palestinian Rights site provides some details on the rights violations in Israeli prisons (in the context of G4S)
It provides some background to the violations under International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law
Hewlett Packard Israel Factsheet
Download the factsheet here.Why Boycott Hewlett Packard?