Sources: Largest Danish and Swedish banks to boycott Israeli banks

The two European companies are boycotting three Israeli banks because they operate in illegal settlements

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The two biggest banks in northern Europe announced that they will be boycotting three Israeli banks for operating in settlements which are considered as occupied territories by the European Union.

The Palestinian Maan news agency quoted Israeli sources saying that the Swedish Nordea Bank, which is the largest bank in Scandinavia, and the Norwegian Danske Bank, which is the largest bank in Denmark, will boycott the Israeli banks Hapoalim, Leumi and Mizrahi-Tefahot.

The three banks operate in Israeli settlements, the existence of which violates international law.

An Israeli source told the Walla! Hebrew-language news website said the Jewish country cannot lobby European government to stop the boycott as the moves come from private firms acting independently.

The announcement is part of a growing trend of European businesses stopping its cooperation with companies that operate within the settlements.

Germany recently informed Israeli high-tech companies that the renewal of a scientific cooperation agreement depends on the exclusion of Israeli entities based in the contested territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The British government also recently warned businesses about 'reputational implications' that might ensue if organizations get involved in economic and financial activities in settlements.

Many argue the growing boycott movement is a result of what many see is Israel's disregard for the peace talks with Palestine as they continue to announce settlement development plans.

United States Secretary of John Kerry warned Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu about the potential implications of boycotts to the country but the leader rejected the sentiments.

Netanyahu responded to Kerry's comments at a weekly cabinet meeting this week, saying, "No pressure will cause me to concede the vital interests of the State of Israel, especially the security of Israel's citizens. For both of these reasons, threats to boycott the State of Israel will not achieve their goal."

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