Though best known for their computers and computer peripherals like printers, companies under the Hewlett-Packard umbrella are engaged in another profitable, and far more nefarious business: enabling apartheid Israel to track the movement of occupied Palestinians.
Activists from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement are calling for a week of action against HP beginning on Black Friday, the high-volume shopping day that occurs after Thanksgiving. Organized by the HP Boycott Campaign and the Palestinian BDS National Committee, a coalition of Palestinian civil society groups, 99 actions were scheduled in 18 countries around the world, including the United States, as of Monday afternoon.
The Israeli military operates checkpoints throughout the occupied West Bank. In order to pass through them, Palestinians must submit to facial and and hand recognition scanners. This biometric identification system, called the “Basel System,” is maintained by HP Enterprise Services, a company previously known as EDS Israel.
“The biometric data of nearly every Palestinian over the age of 16 is held by the Israeli authorities as part of Israel’s system of control and repression,” the Palestine Solidarity Campaign noted in an Aug. 13, 2014 post.