Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: A French transportation company has turned to the country's highest court to contest the competence of French courts in hearing a case against it for its involvement in a rail project in Occupied Jerusalem.

French companies Alstom, Alstom Transport and Veolia have been the subject of controversy over their involvement in the Jerusalem Light Rail project by the city's municipality that would link occupied Jerusalem to Jewish colonies in the West Bank.

The Palestinian Liberation Organisation and the Association France Palestine Solidarité, an advocacy group, had filed a lawsuit in a Nanterre court to hold the companies accountable for their alleged violation of international laws that France is party to.

After contesting the competence of the Nanterre court in hearing the case, and receiving a ruling that the case is admissible, the three companies appealed the ruling at the Appeals Court of Versailles. That court endorsed the Nanterre ruling on December 17.

Sole petition

Alstom and subsidiary Alstom Transport have now decided to take the ruling to the Cour de cassation, the highest court in France, a spokesperson for the company confirmed. He refused to comment further since the case is pending.

Veolia has not chosen to join Alstom in appealing the rulings in the cassation court.

Israeli media reports from last year indicated that Veolia intends to sell its 5 per cent stake in the City Pass consortium that is building the Israeli rail network in occupied Jerusalem, but the company has not confirmed this.