Caterpillar Bulldozers Accused of Violating Human Rights

The armored bulldozer is used by the Israeli military to level buildings and clear land in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. To them, it’s a symbol of defense. But to the Palestinians, the construction vehicle represents the destruction of lives and homes.

The bulldozers are manufactured by Illinois-based Caterpillar (search), which is now the subject of an investigation by someone with the United Nation’s Human Rights Commission (search). The person in charge of the probe is the Commission’s Special Expert on the Rights to Food, Jean Ziegler.

Ziegler says private companies have a duty to ensure their products are being properly used — and that’s not the case with the Cat dozers in Israel.

Ziegler sent a letter to Caterpillar Chairman James Owen saying he was “deeply concerned” by the use of the armored bulldozers “to destroy agricultural farms, greenhouses, ancient olive groves and agricultural fields planted with crops.”

But a Caterpillar spokesman told Fox News that Ziegler’s views don’t represent an official U.N. position and are instead just the opinion of one man with an anti-business, anti-Israeli agenda.

The company released a statement saying “more than 2 million Caterpillar machines and engines are at work in virtually every country and region of the world each day. We have neither the legal right nor the means to police individual use of that equipment.”

Go to the video box at the top of this story to watch a report by Fox News' Jeff Goldblatt.