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Germany, Israel summit postponed due to land grab law

Image of a protest in front of Israeli Knesset against the demolition of Palestinian settlements on 23 January 2017[Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Anadolu]
A protester holds a banner in front of Knesset building in Jerusalem, during a protest against Israeli violations over Palestinian people, such as discrimination policies and demolishing of Palestinian settlements in Umm Al-Hiran and Qalansawe. ( Faiz Abu Rmeleh - Anadolu Agency )

A high profile German-Israeli summit scheduled to be held in Jerusalem in May has been cancelled due to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s dissatisfaction with Israel’s “Regularisation Law”.

The summit would have seen a meeting between Merkel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and between government ministers from the two sides, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported.

The new Israeli law allows for retroactively legalising outposts built on private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, leaving the owners with only two options: accepting monetary compensation or a land swap.

Read: Israeli MK says we should ‘Apply sovereignty, end military rule over West Bank’

The source said the German cancellation, expected to be followed by further diplomatic steps by Berlin, comes in response to Israel announcing some 6,000 new homes in the occupied West Bank since US President Donald Trump was inaugurated in January.

Also read: South Korea calls on Israel to stop settlement expansion

The contentious “Regulation Law” passed last week and has been condemned by the United Nations, the European Union, Turkey, Britain and France, among others.

According to the Israeli report, the chancellor’s office confirmed the date for the summit for 10-11 May.

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