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    Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution' (OP)


    Salaam

    With Trump in power, Netanyahu has a free hand.


    Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'


    Land grab law 'allows theft, stalls peace process'

    Law that retroactively legalises settler homes on private Palestinian land widely condemned as legitimising theft.


    Israel's land grab law that retroactively legalises thousands of settlement homes in the occupied West Bank legitimises theft, violates international law and ends the prospect of a two-state solution, according to politicians, legal experts and human rights groups.

    The so-called "Regulation Bill" instantly drew wide condemnation as it was voted in by members of the Knesset late on Monday with a 60 to 52 majority.

    The law applies to about 4,000 settlement homes in the West Bank for which settlers could prove ignorance that they had built on privately owned Palestinian land and had received encouragement from the Israeli state to do so.

    Three Israeli NGOs - Peace Now, Yesh Din and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel - and numerous Palestinians said they intend to petition the Supreme Court to cancel the law.

    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday in a statement: "This bill is in contravention of international law and will have far reaching legal consequences for Israel."

    The EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement that the bloc "condemns" the law and urges against its implementation "to avoid measures that further raise tensions and endanger the prospects for a peaceful solution to the conflict".

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the law was an aggression against the Palestinian people.

    "That bill is contrary to international law," Abbas said following a meeting with French President Francois Hollande in Paris. "This is an aggression against our people that we will be opposing in international organisations.

    "What we want is peace ... but what Israel does is to work toward one state based on apartheid."

    Hollande called on Israel to go back on the law, saying it would "pave the way for an annexation, de-facto, of the occupied territories, which would be contrary to the two-state solution".

    Hours before Abbas' meeting with Hollande, Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, told the Associated Press news agency that the law puts "the last nail in the coffin of the two-state solution".

    Calling the move "theft", Erekat said the ruling showed "the Israeli government trying to legalise looting Palestinian land".

    The Arab League also accused Israel of "stealing the land" from Palestinians.

    "The law in question is only a cover for stealing the land and appropriating the property of Palestinians," said the head of the Cairo-based organisation, Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

    Palestinian owners will be compensated financially or with other land, but cannot negotiate their terms.

    The law is a continuation of "Israeli policies aimed at eliminating any possibility of a two-state solution and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state", Aboul Gheit said.

    Jordan, one of the few Arab states to have diplomatic ties with Israel, also denounced what it called "a provocative law likely to kill any hope of a two-state solution".

    According to the UN envoy for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay Mladenov, the law crosses a "very thick red line" towards annexation of the occupied West Bank, and sets a "very dangerous precedent".

    Speaking to the AFP news agency, he said: "This is the first time the Israeli Knesset legislates in the occupied Palestinian lands and particularly on property issues."

    He also raised the possibility the law could open Israel up to potential prosecution at the International Criminal Court, a threat Israel's own top government lawyer, attorney general Avichai Mandelblit, has also warned of.

    Mladenov called for strong international condemnation of the legislation but declined to criticise the US after President Donald Trump's administration refused to comment on it.

    Trump is more sympathetic to Israel's settlement policies than previous US presidents; the Israeli government has approved plans to build thousands of new homes on occupied territory since the far-right leader settled into the White House.

    "I think that is a very preliminary statement," Mladenov said. "Obviously they do need to consult, this is a new administration that has just come into office and they should be given the time and the space to find their policies."

    White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the US was likely to discuss the law with Netanyahu when the Israeli prime minister visits on February 15, but did not comment further in a press briefing on Tuesday.

    David Harris, head of AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organisation, said that "Israel's High Court can and should reverse this misguided legislation" ahead of Netanyahu's meeting with Trump in February.

    That was also the message from Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who said last week: "The chance that it will be struck down by the Supreme Court is 100 percent."

    'Against all international laws'

    International law considers all settlements to be illegal, but Israel distinguishes between those it sanctions and those it does not, dubbed outposts.

    A Palestinian Cabinet minister also called on the international community for support.

    "Nobody can legalise the theft of the Palestinian lands. Building settlements is a crime, building settlements is against all international laws," said Palestinian Tourism and Antiquities Minister Rula Maayaa. "I think it is time now for the international community to act concretely to stop the Israelis from these crimes."

    Nabil Abu Rdeneh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, called the law "unacceptable" and urged the international community to act immediately.

    "This is an escalation that would only lead to more instability and chaos," Rdeneh said.

    Palestinians want the occupied West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip - territories Israel occupied in the 1967 Middle East war - for their future state.

    The international community views settlements as illegal and an obstacle to reaching peace.

    Shortly before leaving office, US President Barack Obama allowed the UN Security Council to pass a resolution declaring settlements illegal.

    Tobias Ellwood, Britain's Middle East minister, also condemned the land grab bill, saying it "is of great concern that the bill paves the way for significant growth in settlements deep in the West Bank".

    Yuval Shany, an international law professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said the law violates basic rights, interferes with property rights and is discriminatory because it regulates only the transfer of land from Palestinians to Jews.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/02/israel-land-grab-law-ends-hope-state-solution-170207143602924.html
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    Junon's Avatar
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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

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    Salaam

    Another update.

    Blurb

    Israel is a few days away from beginning to annex nearly a third of the occupied West Bank. But as the July 1 start date set by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approaches, a workable plan remains unclear.

    The United States is backing the annexation if Netanyahu can reach an agreement with his coalition partner, Benny Gantz.



    Blurb

    Israel plans to announce its annexation of the Jordan Valley and the northern part of the Dead Sea. The Palestinian people, already occupied and denied their basic human rights for more than 70 years, are set to lose more land and more rights.



    Blurb

    Zionist leaders are extending their occupation of Palestine, intending to formally annex more than 30% of the West Bank. Included in this is the Jordan Valley, a large stretch of land bordering western Jordan. Israel already invades more than 80% of the Jordan Valley for the sake of small communities of illegal settlers.

    Since 1967, almost all of the West Bank, home to over three-million Palestinians has been occupied and controlled by Israeli security forces.

    The West Bank, which is ‘Palestinian’ land in international charters, and sits within the borders of the pre-1967 war is blighted by more than 120 Israeli settlements, housing more than 300,000 illegal settlers. A further 100 settlements are ‘illegal’ under Israeli law itself, but are nonetheless supplied with services and utilities. Hundreds of kilometres of the ‘Apartheid Wall’, rip through the West Bank as well as endless military checkpoints.

    This area, along with the besieged Gaza strip, the latter also eaten up by an enormous surrounding buffer-zone were supposed to constitute a ‘future Palestinian state’ as part of the popular solution to the conflict called the ‘two-state solution’.

    Israel’s planned unilateral action, illegal under international law has been decried by the international community, constituting the “most serious violation of international law” yet. For many, it is the end of Palestinian Statehood and proves that the policy of ‘negotiation’ has not worked.

    For some others, however, it is a reminder that just as Zionist annexation knows no limits, Palestinian aspirations should likewise know no limits. That Palestine, including Jerusalem, Bethlehem and its historic cities from where millions of Palestinians hail including Jaffa, Haifa, Lydda and others is indivisible, that the occupation of Palestine is destined to end and that its inhabitants will ultimately return to their ancestral lands.


    Last edited by Junon; 3 Days Ago at 10:05 PM.

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Like to share



    Interesting response.



    Don't be so quick to discard ANY possible tool. This is the system that I personally led within--and I can tell you from that direct experience that it's been trying to deliver justice for Palestinians for a couple decades now. The only reason it's failed is the U.S. veto at the UNSC. And that veto is hanging by one, (literally) aging thread: the generation of U.S. national security leaders of my generation & older, who grew up and formed their opinions of the conflict during the Cold War, when Israel was 'our guys' in our existential fight against godless Communism, while most of the corrupt, secular Arab regimes standing up for Palestine were Soviet vassals. We just weren't able to break free of that mindset--not when the Palestinians started focusing on legitimate Israeli military targets and the Israelis

    started killing three times as many innocent civilians as militants (like in the 2014 Gaza war), and not when Israel stopped being 'our guys' in ANY real sense of the term. But guess what? WE'RE RETIRING--and I can ALSO tell you from personal experience that the generation coming up BEHIND us recognizes that neither the children of Palestine NOR THOSE OF ISRAEL will ever know peace UNTIL ALL KNOW JUSTICE. And even some of us old guys have started to see the light: remember, Obama let a Security Council resolution get passed that has it ON THE

    RECORD that every Israeli settlement in the occupied territories IS ILLEGAL, and built on Palestinian property. That resolution isn't going to be repealed (because ALL THE OTHER P5 MEMBERS would veto THAT)...and it's sitting there like a ticking time bomb waiting for the next administration willing to let a resolution go through saying--for example--that the State of Israel OWES BACK RENT AT MARKET RATES on every unit of housing, which will be deducted from the aid we give them, and given to the Palestinian authorities.

    Or designating a robust, U.S.-led UN peacekeeping force whose mission is to KEEP THE IDF THE HECK OUT OF PALESTINE, and help the Palestinians build a robust security infrastructure of their own (I was actually allowed to sketch out a plan for THAT one before I retired)

    As us old Cold Warriors age out of the population, demographics are, at last, turning the tide toward justice. Now mind you, I'm NOT telling you to put all your eggs in that basket & be patient: as Black Lives Matter has reminded us over here lately, it's not for the oppressor to tell the oppressed what timetable is 'acceptable' for justice. Be activists. Be impatient. As you note, you've been made to wait too long for justice already. And under Trump and Netanyahu, things have unquestionably gotten WORSE, not better, these past four years.

    But I AM telling you this basket called International Law--designed, yes, by us colonizers for our own ends--is, increasingly, in new hands--and eggs are piling up to tip the balance. Put your trust in Allah, not us. But know we're here--and there are more of us every year.

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1...705926666.html


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