Caterpillar SA

16.05.2016 ( Last modified: 07.10.2016 )

In March 2011, TRIAL International and the Palestinian NGO Al-Haq supported six Palestinian families with their filing of a complaint of war crimes against the Swiss subsidiary of Caterpillar, the manufacturer of construction site machinery. The reason for doing so was that the Israeli army had used D9 bulldozers made by the same manufacturer to destroy their homes without any military need in August 2007, during a raid on a neighborhood in the town of Qalqilya (West Bank).

On February 24, 2014, the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland refused to pursue the complaint on the grounds that the bulldozers in question were not weapons and that the company Caterpillar could not be held responsible for the use that their buyers made of their equipment.

TRIAL International deplored the closure of this case, but welcomed the fact that the prosecutor described the events that happened in Qalqilya in 2007 as “punitive demolitions”, that is to say, war crimes committed by the Israeli army.


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