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Saturday 10 December 2016

CRH offloads stake in controversial Israeli cement firm

Published 09/01/2016 | 02:30

Cement produced by Mashav has been used to build barriers for the widely condemned security wall that separates Israel from the Palenstinian West Bank. Photo: Bloomberg
Cement produced by Mashav has been used to build barriers for the widely condemned security wall that separates Israel from the Palenstinian West Bank. Photo: Bloomberg

CRH has sold its 25pc stake in Israel's only cement firm, Mashav, ending a focus of major controversy for the Irish group.

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It revealed the sale yesterday in a market update that showed CRH made €1bn worth of disposals in 2015, bringing the total under a divestment programme to €1.4bn.

CRH, headed by chief executive Albert Manifold, has been frequently targeted by pro-Palestinian activists at its AGMs, who pressed for the global building materials firm to sell the stake in the Israeli group.

Cement produced by Mashav has been used to build barriers for the widely condemned security wall that separates Israel from the Palenstinian West Bank.

CRH had owned a stake in Mashav since 2001, and for years has drawn fire from some shareholders and international pressure groups, including the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, for retaining its interest in the company. Mashav is the holding company for a firm called Nesher, whose cement has ultimately been used to make huge concrete slabs that were used to construct the dividing wall.

Over a decade ago, the Israeli government began building what will eventually be a 700km-long security fence. Part of the structure comprises a 25-feet-high concrete wall.

Irish Independent

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