Israel summons Dutch ambassador over PGGM divestment from Israeli banks

JERUSALEM – Israel has summoned the Dutch ambassador after PGGM of the Netherlands, one of the world’s largest pension asset managers, divested from Israeli banks over their financing of settlements.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday that it had asked Ambassador Caspar Veldkamp for a “clarification.”

The ministry told the ambassador that the decision “is unacceptable and relies on false pretense.”

On Wednesday, PGGM said it divested from five Israeli banks because they are involved in financing construction in Jewish settlements.

Some 550,000 Israelis now live in settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, areas captured by Israel from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war, and which the Palestinians demand for their state.

The fate of the territory is a main focus in U.S.-mediated peace talks.