Israel races to head off UN settlement 'blacklist'

Israel and the Trump administration are working feverishly to prevent the publication of a U.N. database of companies operating in Israel's West Bank settlements, weeks ahead of its expected completion.

Israel is usually quick to brush off U.N. criticism but this time, officials say they are taking the so-called "blacklist" seriously, fearing its publication could have devastating consequences by driving companies away, deterring others from coming and prompting investors to dump shares of Israeli firms.

Dozens of major Israeli companies, as well as multinationals that do business in Israel, are expected to appear on the list.

The international community overwhelmingly considers the settlements, built on occupied land claimed by the Palestinians for a future state, to be illegal. Israel rejects such claims, saying the matter should be resolved in negotiations.