Group files rights suit over Airbnb’s Israel settlement ban

JERUSALEM (AP) — A group of Americans has filed a civil rights lawsuit in a U.S. federal court against home-sharing company Airbnb over its decision to ban listings from West Bank settlements.

The plaintiffs said in a statement Wednesday that Airbnb is discriminating against Jewish West Bank homeowners and doesn’t maintain a similar policy in other disputed territories around the globe.

San Francisco-based Airbnb announced last week it would delist around 200 properties and cease operations in Israeli West Bank settlements, which most of the international community considers illegal.

Airbnb said in a statement Thursday that it doesn’t believe the suit filed in Delaware will succeed, but added: “We know that people will disagree with our decision and appreciate their perspective.”

A similar case was filed last week in a Jerusalem court.

Airbnb rival Booking.com said Thursday that it continues to list properties in the settlements. Amsterdam-based Booking.com didn’t say how many of those are offered on its site.

“We permit all accommodation providers worldwide to list on our platform as long as they are in compliance with applicable laws,” Booking.com said in a statement.

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