On 6th Feb 2017, Israel’s parliament approved legislation that retroactively legalizes thousands of Jewish settler homes in the occupied West Bank. The bill was passed by a vote of 60-52 in Israel’s 120 seat parliament.
Does the Israeli Law violate International Law?
On 6th Feb 2017, Israel’s parliament approved legislation that retroactively legalizes thousands of Jewish settler homes in the occupied West Bank. The bill was passed by a vote of 60-52 in Israel’s 120 seat parliament. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been taking pro-settler steps, since Donald Trump took office as US President.
President Trump’s Reaction
There was no immediate reaction from the Trump Administration. However, in an earlier statement, the White House said Israel’s settlement construction “may not be helpful.”
Since President Trump took office, Israeli authorities have approved 5,500 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank.
What does the Law Allow?
The legislation approved, allows Israeli authorities to declare as government property the private Palestinian land upon which the formerly illegal enclaves were built.
It calls for the Palestinian owners of the land to be compensated with money or alternative plots of land.
The Palestinian position: Palestinians want to form a state from the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, which are territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war.
The law that legalized illegal settlements, is likely to spark legal challenges and draw international condemnation. It may be interpreted as a move in towards partial annexation of the West Bank. Israel hopes to undermine the UN mandated Two-State solution, with the passage of this law. The law is an obstacle to the peace process.