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The following is the answer (December 2, 2010) written by the Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Transport

, Building and Urban Affairs, Enak Ferlemann, MP, to Inge Höger, MP of the party DIE LINKE ("Left Party") in the German Bundestag. Dear Colleague, I will answer your question Nr. 300/November: In light of the engagement of the subsidiary of the Deutsche Bahn (DB – German Railroad) International in the electrification of the rail route between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, which traverses a sector of the territory being occupied in violation of international law, what measures are being envisaged by the German government to prevent German enterprises, owned by the German state, from committing violations of international law. And, if there is no intention to do so, how does the German government justify its toleration of violations of international law and human rights by enterprises that are completely or partially in the ownership of the Federal Republic of Germany? (Spiegel Nr. 46 November 15, 2010, pg. 102) as follows: The government expects all enterprises to respect enacted laws and international law as well as human rights. The responsibility for abiding by laws is primarily in the hands of the board of directors or the administration. In accordance with company law, they are the ones in charge of operating businesses. In case of suspicions of legal violations, the government will use the powers vested in it as proprietor, in state owned enterprises and their subsidiaries, as well as its possibilities to exert influence through its representatives on the supervisory board to clear up the issue and if necessary put a halt to the violations. In addition, under the heading "country information Israel" or "country information Palestinian territories" on the Foreign Ministry's web page, the government points out legal aspects of business engagements in the occupied territories. I hope that this explanation is of service to you. Yours truly, Enak Ferlemann

(www.bds-kampagne.de / English Translation: George Pumphrey)

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