Google sacked staff protesting about contract with Israel

Image caption, Google workers took part in protests against a contract the company have with the Israeli government
  • Author, Hannah Mullane
  • Role, Business Reporter

Google has sacked 28 workers who took part in protests against a deal the technology giant has with the Israeli government.

Google has a joint contract with Amazon worth $1.2bn (£960m) called Project Nimbus which provides Israel’s government and military with cloud computing and AI infrastructure.

Employees affiliated with the protest group No Tech For Apartheid, staged sit-ins at the company’s New York and Sunnyvale, California offices.

Google said Project Nimbus “is not directed at highly sensitive, classified, or military workloads relevant to weapons or intelligence services”.

Google said protesters were disrupting offices and were “physically impeding other employees’ work and preventing them from accessing facilities”.

The dismissals, which Google confirmed to the BBC, escalated longstanding tensions between the company and employees opposed to supplying technology to Israel’s government.

Marches were held last year, following the start of the war in Gaza in October, with protesters holding banners that read “No More Genocide For Profit”.

In the most recent protests, staff entered offices and refused to leave prompting Google to call law enforcement.

In a statement Google called the behaviour “completely unacceptable”.

Google is not the only company to face criticism over Israel.

Much of the Gaza Strip has been devastated during the Israeli military operations that began after Hamas-led gunmen attacked southern Israel on 7 October, killing about 1,200 people and seizing 253 hostages.

More than 33,900 people have been killed in Gaza, the majority of them women and children, during Israel’s military campaign to destroy Hamas and release the hostages, according to the territory’s Hamas-run health ministry.

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