The Israeli office of the American tech giant and South Korean Samsung Electronics are both leaving the country after being forced out of the country’s capital in an unprecedented diplomatic showdown.
The two tech giants were ordered to leave the Israeli capital on Wednesday after the Israeli Supreme Court upheld a Jerusalem court decision ordering the two companies to pay $6.5 million to settle a legal case.
The companies said they would appeal the ruling, but did not say how they would proceed.
The Supreme Court’s ruling came a week after Israel’s cabinet agreed to pay Apple and Google $6 billion to settle the dispute, in what Israeli media said was a compromise between Israel and the United States.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said that the companies were “unwilling to pay the damages they are owed,” and said that “the court’s ruling is legally binding.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement that he had “serious concerns about the outcome of the court decision,” adding that he was “very disappointed” in the ruling.
He added that he believed “Israel is a partner of the United Kingdom, not a friend of the state of Israel.”
The companies did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In a statement, Apple called the decision a “grave blow to the United Nations and a stain on the human rights of all people.”
The court’s decision “is a devastating blow to our reputation as a technology and innovation hub and a clear and present danger to the well-being of our communities in Israel and around the world,” the statement said.
Apple has been lobbying for a long time to keep its Israeli headquarters in Jerusalem, a city with a high number of tech companies, and has maintained a longstanding policy of refusing to rent space in the city.
“We respect the ruling,” Apple spokeswoman Jodi Goldberg said in an emailed statement.
“This decision is a serious blow to Israel’s standing in the global tech ecosystem and our ability to serve the world.”
In an interview on “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday, Cook said the decision was “not good news for us.
It doesn’t mean we will leave, but we’re moving forward.”
The decision will “have a profound impact on the future of our people and the world’s tech ecosystem,” Cook added.
“I think that it’s a sad day for the world and the future for Israel.”
He said Apple is “not going to go quietly into the night” and said the company “will continue to work with Israel to find ways to make the world a better place.”
The two companies had been at odds in the past over issues like access to government services and a ban on Israeli flags being flown at public events.
Apple had sought to have the Israeli flag flown at the opening ceremony of the 2017 soccer World Cup in South Africa.
A few days earlier, Cook had said he had asked the Israeli government for help with an investigation into a spate of Israeli attacks on Palestinians.
“They want to find a way to stop a whole lot of stuff that’s going on,” he said at the time.
The court ruling on Wednesday came after a week in which Israel’s government and its military imposed a blockade on Jerusalem, imposing restrictions on Palestinians and restricting the movement of goods and people.
The blockade has been in place since a deadly 2015 Israeli assault on the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which Israel claims is holy to Muslims as the Western Wall.
Palestinians, including Israeli Jews, say that the site is home to the Dome of the Rock, the holiest place in Judaism, and are seen as sacred sites by Jews around the globe.
The Israeli government has denied the claims.
The ruling on Tuesday came in response to a petition filed by the American Jewish Committee.
“The Supreme Court has affirmed that the government of Israel has no right to restrict the movements of Israelis and to prevent the transfer of goods from one country to another,” the letter said.
The American Jewish Council, the umbrella group for Jewish organizations in the United Sates, also called on the court to lift the ban on the use of Israeli flags in public spaces.
The Trump administration has criticized the decision to lift Israel’s ban on public displays of the flag.
The decision “will be welcomed by the people of Israel, but will not advance the cause of peace and freedom for Israelis,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Twitter.
The United States has not formally recognized Israel, though the State Department has said it has no plans to do so.