Pango to the rescue? Not for residents of the West Bank

As Israel struggles with international companies unwilling to work beyond the Green Line, some Israeli companies seem to have joined the boycott: Pango, for example, refuses to provide repair and rescue services to drivers on the wrong side of the fence.
The Pango app Photo Credit: Haggai Haker, Channel 2 News

The Pango app, which provides parking services through smartphones, is one of the most popular apps in Israel. These days, the app will help you find a parking spot, enable you to pass through parking lots quickly and even provides rescue services to drivers in need- unless, that is, the unlucky driver found his or herself stuck in the West Bank.

A resident of Kiryat Arba recently received a phone call from a Pango employee who offered him repair and rescue services at a cost of NIS 7.90, around $2.24, a month. However, when she realized that he lived beyond the Green Line, she quickly clarified that the service did not apply to him. "We do not come to Kiryat Arba," she explained. "We don't provide service in what's considered 'undeclared territory.'"

The refusal of private companies and suppliers to provide services to residents of the West Bank is a familiar phenomenon and residents who sue such companies have occasionally received funding from the Samarian Settlers' Committee. In such cases, the 'Yerucham test' is used as a sort of litmus test for companies and suppliers; if they are prepared to provide goods and services to the southern city of Yeruham, there is no legitimate justification for them not to do the same in the West Bank.

According to Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan, "It cannot be that the Pango company discriminates against the residents of the West Bank. They are not second-class citizens who have only debts and obligations but no rights."

Despite the recent phone call and the operator's claims, Pango insists that they provide service to any location approved by the IDF as per their contract agreement that states that "the service will be provided throughout the country, except for areas not under Israeli control (ie Area A), areas south of the Arava Junction, east of Ma'aleh Adumim and autonomous areas."



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