UN Condemns Israeli Settlements Bill

UN Condemns Israeli Settlements Bill
UN Condemns Israeli Settlements Bill

The head of the UN on Tuesday slammed an Israeli bill that provides immunity for illegal settlements and outposts in the occupied West Bank.

“The secretary-general [Antonio Guterres] deeply regrets the adoption of the so-called ‘regularization bill’ on 6 February by the Knesset,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement. “This bill is in contravention of international law and will have far reaching legal consequences for Israel.”

The bill comes amid heightened anxiety in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after the new US administration under US President Donald Trump took office last month, Anadolu Agency reported.

Since Trump was sworn in, Israel has announced three separate settlement plans that allows for thousands more housing units the UN and the international community deem illegal.

Israeli authorities last Tuesday approved the construction of 3,000 new units in the West Bank after approving last month the construction of 3,066 Jewish homes in East Beit-ul-Moqaddas and the West Bank.

EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said the bloc condemned the law that “crosses a new and dangerous threshold by legalizing under Israeli law the seizure of Palestinian property rights and effectively authorizing the confiscation of privately owned Palestinian land in occupied territory”.

She said the law would legalize settlements and outposts previously considered illegal under Israeli and international law, adding that the development would “constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten the viability of a two-state solution”.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Palestine planned to continue to confront Israeli settlements in international institutions.

“This legislation violates international law and we will continue our work with international courts to protect our existence and survival on the land of Palestine,” he said in a joint news conference with French President Francois Hollande.

Hollande said the expansion of settlements “opens the way to their annexation” and called on Israel to reconsider the law.

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