Humza Yousaf has said he will explore what action can be taken “within the limitations of devolution” around public money going to companies linked to Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
The First Minister was asked whether his Government will ensure these companies are not awarded public contracts.
At First Minister’s Questions, Green MSP Ross Greer said as well as the violence in the Gaza Strip, Palestinians are also being killed in the West Bank.
He said the UN has identified 97 companies “complicit in Israel’s illegal occupation through its West Bank settlements”.
Mr Greer asked: “Will the First Minister confirm that any company complicit in illegal occupation, whether it be of Palestine or of Ukraine, must be banned from receiving public sector contracts or grants here in Scotland?”
Mr Yousaf said both the Scottish and UK governments consider the West Bank settlements are illegal.
The Scottish Government’s former business minister Ivan McKee has previously written to a small number of companies who are on the UN list, he said.
Mr Yousaf said his Government is “constrained” by the devolution framework but those profiting from illegal settlements should not receive public contracts.
He said: “Let’s explore what is possible within the limitations of devolution.
“I join with Ross Greer and many others across the chamber in urging the international community to get right behind a ceasefire.”
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