Activists worldwide are seeking to build momentum to pressure Puma to halt its dealings with organisations that uphold the occupation of Palestine.

There are growing calls globally to boycott the sportswear manufacturer Puma which activists claim is violating international law and human rights by aiding and abetting Israel's occupation of Palestinian land.

Puma is one of the main sponsors of the Israel Football Association (IFA), which includes teams in Israel's illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged FIFA, an international governing body association for football, which the IFA is affiliated with, to take action against football clubs in the occupied territories.

"The settlement clubs play their home games on land unlawfully seized from Palestinians, and West Bank Palestinians are not allowed to enter the settlements to play, coach, or even watch the matches," said the Human Rights body.

In 2018, Puma signed a four-year multimillion-dollar deal with the IFA making the company the official kit partner of Israel's national football teams. According to activists, Puma has also financed the building and sponsorship of several football pitches on occupied Palestinian land.

Calls to boycott Puma have been led by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a Palestinian-led movement promoting boycotts, divestments, and economic sanctions against Israel.

"Puma's sponsorship of the IFA helps keep its direct involvement in violations of human rights and international law off the field, allowing Israel's settlement regime to continue and expand," said a BDS statement about the international sporting body.

In a bid to deflect criticism, Puma has responded to the campaign by claiming a "devotion to universal equality."

As a result of the pressure, Qatar Sports Club announced last year it would not renew its contract with global sportswear manufacturer Puma after revelations by activists that it was an accomplice to the Israeli occupation.

In a similar move, Malaysia's largest university, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), also ended a sponsorship deal with global sportswear brand Puma over the company's support for illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.

In the UK, the national football club, Luton Town FC, also decided to drop their sponsorship deal with Puma to support Palestinian liberation.

The Twitter hashtag #BoycottPUMA has been trending on the social media platform for several days.

In Malaysia, human rights activists deliver 124K signatures to Puma's distributor urging the company to end support for Israeli apartheid.

One social media user said that anything linked to "criminal Israel" he wouldn't buy in particular Puma products.

Another social media user urged the sporting company to "take heed and do what's right! No human life is better than any other person regardless of how many times you lie to yourselves we're all equal."

Source: TRT World