G4S is the biggest security company in the world. In April 2021, US-based corporation Allied Universal acquired G4S in a $5.2 billion deal. It runs Israel’s central training academy for its police forces. These Israeli forces are the main state organs tasked with the brutally violent repression of Palestinians opposing Israel’s military occupation and human rights violations and are widely denounced for their systematic use of torture and other illegal practices. The StopG4S campaign pressures the company to end its involvement in Israeli human rights violations.
StopG4S has already been successful in pressuring the company to abandon its deals with the Israeli prison service. In December 2016, and under BDS campaign pressure, G4S sold its Israeli subsidiary to the Israeli equity fund FIMI.
G4S: Securing Israeli Apartheid
G4S holds 50% of Policity Ltd., the company contracted by the Israeli police to build and operate Israel’s National Police Academy. The Israeli police, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Public Security are overseeing the implementation. Policity is as well responsible over part of the training imparted there.
With its operation and partial ownership of Israel’s National Police Academy and the training it provides to Israeli police, G4S is still deeply complicit in Israel’s illegal and violent repression of Palestinians.
Located on a 55-acre plot in Beit Shemesh, the National Police Academy is built and maintained by Policity Ltd. It was inaugurated in January 2015. The Academy combines all of Israel’s police training under one roof, replacing 20 facilities throughout the country. The Israeli Police commands over the cadets while the facility and the training are managed by Policity.
Policity, the company operated and partially owned by G4S, is responsible for at least 40% of the training instruction of Israeli police, amounting to about 40,000 hours in the most recent contract. The training provided by the National Police Academy includes crowd control, house raids, interrogation techniques, target shooting and undercover operations — repression tactics that often entail egregious human rights violations and war crimes committed exclusively against Palestinians.
Policity was awarded a BOT (build, operate, transfer) contract in 2012, lasting for 25 years.
The Israeli police plays a central role in advancing Israel’s illegal annexation of Palestinian East Jerusalem. It has a well-documented track-record of daily attacks against Palestinians: the systematic demolition of Palestinian homes and expulsions of indigenous Palestinian residents from the city, the imprisonment of Palestinians without due process, torture and extra-judicial executions amounting to war crimes.
The Israeli police also enforces the second-class status of Palestinian citizens of Israel through similarly violent tactics. In January 2017, Israeli police killed Yaakub Abu al-Qiyan during an early morning raid to destroy his village of Umm al-Hiran. This killing is consistent with the broad disregard for Palestinian lives by Israel’s deeply racist police that sees Palestinians as an enemy, whether they are Palestinians living under military occupation in East Jerusalem or Palestinians holding Israeli citizenship.
G4S is involved in human rights abuses linked to European anti-migration policies. It has also been criticised for its role in violent abuses taking place in the prisons and detention centres it runs (or used to run) in South Africa, the US and the UK, and in numerous deaths in custody.
Angolan national Jimmy Mubenga was suffocated to death by three G4S guards while being deported from the UK in 2010. In South Africa, investigations exposed G4S staff using electric shocks and forcible medical injections of antipsychotic drugs at the Mangaung prison.
G4S has been implicated in labour rights violations at several of its sites including in Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa.
The #StopG4S campaign has already shown it has substantial impact on G4S. After effective BDS campaigning that caused the company “reputational damage,” as reported by the Financial Times, the company stopped providing security services to the Israeli prisons and military including:
In 2005, G4S signed a contract with the Israeli Prison Service to provide services and supply and maintain equipment including CCTV cameras, control room technologies, access control technologies and surveillance equipment to five Israeli prisons.
Provided and maintained equipment at Erez checkpoint on the Gaza border and to the checkpoints in the West Bank, helping Israel to implement restrictions on movement.
Provided electronic security systems to the Israeli police.
Provided security services to Israeli military bases and settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.
After years of global campaigning, in December 2016, G4S sold its subsidiary, G4S Israel, to the Israeli equity fund FIMI, therefore ending its involvement in the above contracts.
Now it is time to tell G4S to Stop Complicity with Israeli Apartheid once and for all!
Impact on G4S
#StopG4S started in 2012, as Palestinian political prisoners began a historic hunger strike, when Palestinian human rights organization Addameer and others working with political prisoners issued an appeal for campaigning against G4S. Trade unions, churches and grassroots movements across over 25 countries joined the campaign that cost G4S contracts worth millions of dollars.
The #StopG4S campaign has already shown its impact: In December 2016, G4S sold its subsidiary, G4S Israel, to the Israeli equity fund FIMI. Until then, G4S was responsible for running Israeli prisons where Palestinian political prisoners are held without trial and subjected to torture and ill-treatment. G4S Israel also provided equipment and services to Israeli military checkpoints, illegal settlements and to military and police buildings.
Now it is time G4S gets out of Policity Ltd. and stops securing Israeli apartheid.
G4S starts responding to public pressure
March 2012: #StopG4S started.
March 2016: G4S announced it would sell its Israeli subsidiary in the coming “12 to 24 months." In describing the move, The Financial Times reported that G4S was “extracting itself from reputationally damaging work.”
December 2016: G4S ended its complicity with Israeli prisons but not with the Israeli Ministry of National Security and Israeli National Police.
Even though G4S is no longer complicit in Israeli prisons, it is complicit with the Israeli National Police. Pressure on G4S must increase because we know it works!
G4S loses contracts worth millions of dollars
G4S has lost contracts around the world worth millions of dollars with unions, banks, charities, universities and other public bodies as a result of BDS campaigning.
In 2017, UN Women became the fifth UN Agency in Jordan to drop contracts with G4S, after WFP, UNOPS, UNICEF and UNHCR, following an international BDS campaign, #UNdropG4S, urging the UN to cancel all its contracts with G4S.
The University of Helsinki, the Trauma Centre in Cape Town, the University of Oslo, Kings College London, Southampton University, the municipality of Durham County in North Carolina and Crepes & Waffles, a major restaurant chain in Colombia, are also among those who have terminated their contracts following BDS appeals. For more on these and other contract cancellations, see our Stop G4S campaign timeline.
Major shareholders divest
In June 2014, the Bill Gates Foundation divested its entire $170m stake in G4S following an international BDS campaign. That same month, the US United Methodist Church divested all G4S shares from its $20bn investment fund. The Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) in Kuwait decided to divest from G4S in June 2016 following calls from BDS Kuwait and the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC).
G4S is the world’s largest security company and operates globally. This means there are opportunities for action and BDS organisations campaigning against G4S across the world. Get involved and help us pressure G4S to stop participating in training Israel’s brutal police force.