Motorola is looking to divest itself from its Israeli cell phone division, MIRS, according to a report in Israeli business newspaper, Globes. The announcement comes only two months after the US-Telecom firm announced it had sold a controversial unit that produced bomb fuses and other equipment for the Israeli military.
Motorola”s dealings with Israel and its army has made it the subject of boycott campaigns by human rights activists in Europe and North America over the past few years. The boycott campaign”s impact was especially felt by Motorola after Israel”s aggression against the Gaza Strip in December and January in which more than 1400 Palestinians were killed the massive bombardment of the densely populated strip.
MIRS, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Motorola is the sole provider of wireless services for the Israeli Occupation Forces. Despite the divestment of two Israeli divisions, Motorola maintains several operations in Israel, including several R&D facilities and joint ventures with Israeli businesses.
The divestment announcement coincides with another by Veolia Transportation that it is looking to sell off its share of the project to construct and operate a light rail system between predominantly Jewish neighborhoods and settlements around Jerusalem. The French firm had lost over $7 billion in EU contracts as a result of pressure by human rights activists in a coordinated campaign that sought to end its relationship with Israel.