Israel/OPT: Dutch Investor pushes for human rights safeguards to stop use of surveillance technology against Palestinians  

Amnesty International welcomes the demand from a major investor in the Dutch manufacturer of cameras deployed in occupied East Jerusalem that it must apply human rights safeguards.  

ASN Impact Investors has said that TKH Group must adopt human rights due diligence policies within a year or face a termination of investment.  

This sets the right precedent in pushing investors to account for the actions of the beneficiaries of their investments. 

The move comes just over a year after Amnesty International published the Automated Apartheid: How facial recognition fragments, segregates and controls Palestinians in the OPT report, documenting how Israel’s vast network of facial recognition-enabled cameras violates the human rights of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and entrenches Israel’s system of apartheid.  

“Investors provide the enabling conditions and resources for entities like TKH Security, a part of TKH Group, to develop and sell surveillance technologies. Their vigilance is important especially where the risk of human rights harms is heightened,” said Matt Mahmoudi, Amnesty International’s Interim Head of the Silicon Valley Initiative, and Researcher on AI and Human Rights. 

“This is particularly urgent in the wake of Israel’s escalating surveillance-enabled crackdown on freedom of movement and freedom of association and peaceful assembly. Supplying hardware or software that can be used to reinforce apartheid, which is a crime against humanity, and other human rights violations by Israel against Palestinians must not be tolerated under any circumstance.”  

Responding to Amnesty International on the Automated Apartheid report findings, the investor, in communication to Amnesty, said, “ASN Impact Investors has decided to actively engage with TKH Group to develop proper due diligence policies to avoid such deals from taking place in the future. This means that TKH Group has one year to satisfy ASN Impact Investors’ demands otherwise the investment will be terminated. This is the heaviest tool in ASN Impact Investors’ toolbox.” 

Amnesty’s Automated Apartheid report identified the use of cameras made by TKH Group in occupied East Jerusalem, likely to be part of the Mabat 2000 networked facial recognition system. This system, introduced in 2000 and significantly upgraded since 2017 to integrate facial recognition capabilities, has given Israeli authorities unprecedented powers of control and surveillance over the everyday lives of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, facilitating arbitrary restrictions on their rights to freedom of movement and freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly. 

Amnesty International found the presence of one to two CCTV cameras every five metres across the area of Jerusalem’s Old City and Sheikh Jarrah. The omnipresent surveillance, embodied by these cameras, has created an atmosphere of fear, anxiety and repression among Palestinians, further entrenching Israel’s system of apartheid.  

In East Jerusalem in particular, the use of Facial Recognition Technology (FRT) has increased in tandem with Israel’s attempts to forcibly displace Palestinians from strategic areas, creating a chilling effect on Palestinians’ ability to organize in public. FRT technologies are used by Israeli authorities to monitor and restrict the movement of Palestinians living in the OPT, and to coerce Palestinians out of areas of strategic interest to Israeli authorities and illegal settlers. These systems of mass and discriminatory surveillance violate the rights to privacy, equality and non-discrimination, and to freedom of movement.  

In April 2021, Amnesty International identified several TKH CCTV products, situated on infrastructure operated by Israeli police in occupied East Jerusalem.  To date, TKH has not answered Amnesty International questions about the nature of any TKH Security-owned products used by Israeli security forces, including any indirect relationships, its human rights due diligence procedures, and whether it had or intended to make a public commitment not to develop or sell facial recognition products. 

Given this continued lack of clarity and commitment to heightened human rights due diligence, ASN’s decision is an important one in ensuring corporate accountability. 

Business investors have a responsibility to take proactive and ongoing steps to identify and respond to Artificial Intelligence’s potential or actual human rights impacts. This entails undertaking heightened human rights due diligence to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how they address their human rights impacts. Investors and surveillance providers should not engage in the development or sale of FRT, and immediately cease its export to Israeli authorities for use against Palestinians.  

Amnesty International is also calling for a global ban on the development, sale, export and use of FRT for surveillance purposes.  


Amnesty International published the Automated Apartheid report in May 2023. The report highlighted Israel’s use of a coordinated surveillance network, including Red Wolf and Mabat 2000, to track Palestinians and automate harsh restrictions on their freedom of movement, helping it to maintain its system of apartheid. 

On 7 October, 2023, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups launched an attack in southern Israel in which at least 1,140 people were killed, of whom 36 were children, and some 245 were taken hostage or captive. In response, Israel launched a devastating military offensive which has killed at least 37,000 people in Gaza, most of whom were civilians, and wrought unprecedented destruction and forced displacement. Meanwhile, in the occupied West Bank, some 20 Palestinian communities have been displaced as a result of state-backed settler violence.