Israeli law "legalizing" West Bank settlement construction condemned

Anger is mounting in Palestinian territories including Gaza after Israel's parliament passes a law legalising Israeli settlements built on private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.

AFP: AFP
AFP: AFP

Implementation of the law will cut the West Bank into two distinct halves.

Palestinian authorities are meeting on Tuesday to discuss measures against Israeli legislation that permits settler homes on private Palestinian land.

The Israeli parliament on Monday finalised a controversial law legalising dozens of Jewish outposts built on private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, sparking anger among Palestinians.

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his extremist, racist coalition government are deliberately breaking the law and destroying the very foundations of the two-state solution and the chances for peace and stability," said Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the main Palestinian political umbrella body.

TRT World'Muhannad Alami reporting from the occupied West Bank said the implementation of the law will mean cutting the West Bank into two distinct halves.

But passage of the law may only be largely symbolic as it contravenes Israeli Supreme Court rulings on property rights.

Israel's attorney-general Avichai Mandelblit says the legislation is unconstitutional and that he will not defend it in the Supreme Court.

The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, said that the law "will have far-reaching legal consequences for Israel and greatly diminish the prospects for Arab-Israeli peace."

According to Al-Monitor writer Daoud Kuttab, Israel's decision comes after a number of cases have succeeded in Israeli courts forcing the Israeli settlements built on private Palestinian land to be dismantled.

"So in order to bypass the courts the right-wing legislators want to create a law that would allow and make these settlements legal by Israeli law," he told TRT World.

"It proves Israelis do not want to exchange land for peace. They want land without the people in them." 

Turkey also condemned the legislation.

"We strongly condemn Israeli Parliament's adoption of a law that gives approval to various settlements consisting of 4,000 units built on the private property of the Palestinians," the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. 

Turkey said the "unacceptable" Israeli policy contradicted UN Security Council resolutions and was "destroying the basis for the two-state solution."

On Monday, Israel said some 4000 Jewish homes built on private Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank are legal while the bill was passed despite Israeli opposition party leader Isaac Herzog urging the legislators to vote against the "insane law".

TRT World's Oliver Whitfield-Miocic has more details. 

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies