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Israeli president slams land grab law

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin [file photo]
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin [file photo]

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin has slammed the Regularisation Law which enables the state to expropriate private Palestinian land where settlements not even legal under Israeli law have been built. According to Haaretz on Sunday, Rivlin said that the law will make Israel appear to be an apartheid state.

“Israel adopts international law,” he explained, “which does not allow a state to impose its laws on areas not under its sovereignty. If a country does such a thing, it becomes a legal cacophony. It will cause Israel to be seen as an apartheid state.”

The president said the Israeli government should not impose laws passed by the Knesset (parliament) on areas that are not subject to Israeli sovereignty. The land on which settlements are built across the West Bank and Jerusalem is occupied territory; all such colonial outposts are thus illegal in international law. Rivlin added that he opposes the right-wing’s attempt to remove the Supreme Court’s ability to cancel laws, including the Regularisation Law.

Read: The international community is paralysed in the face of Israel’s colonial settlements

The Israeli Knesset passed the controversial law last Monday, with a 60-52 vote. The law “legalises” retroactively some 4,000 homes built by settlers on private Palestinian land across the West Bank, but is likely to be overturned by the High Court of Justice.

Israeli settlements undermine the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and violate their rights to freedom of movement and development. The UN Security Council passed Resolution 2334 on 23 December last year, calling on Israel to halt its settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories immediately.

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