Reacting to heavy pressure, Airbnb announced Tuesday that it will no longer block home rentals in the West Bank region of Israel from being listed.
The company said in a statement that the reversal of previously announced policy comes after Airbnb settled lawsuits with hosts and guests who opposed it.
Airbnb added, however, that it “will take no profits” from rentals in the region, where Israelis have established homes considered illegal under international law.
“Under the settlement terms, Airbnb will not move forward with implementing the removal of listings in the West Bank from the platform. We understand the complexity of the issue that was addressed in our previous policy announcement, and we will continue to allow listings throughout all of the West Bank, but Airbnb will take no profits from this activity in the region,” the statement reads.
Airbnb originally announced in November that it would stop listing rentals located in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Since then, the U.S. has stopped referring to the area as under “Israeli occupation,” although the State Department says U.S. policy toward the settlements has not changed.
Airbnb added in its statement Tuesday that any profits it makes from listings in the region will be donated to nonprofit groups “dedicated to humanitarian aid that serve people in different parts of the world.”
“Airbnb will also implement the same approach for listings in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, two other disputed areas where the company has previously announced that we would take action,” the company added.