The Knesset has called on the Israeli Supreme Court to uphold a controversial law that would retroactively legalize thousands of illegal Israeli settlement homes that have been built on Palestinian land, in response to petitions filed by human rights groups demanding the law’s annulment.
According to a press release published Sunday, the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, urged the court to reject the petitions against the so-called Regularization law, on the grounds that individual Palestinian landowners will be financially compensated for their land that was stolen by Israeli settlers, and because the law concerns outposts established in the past only.
The Knesset’s legal adviser attorney Eyal Yinon and attorney Avital Sompulinsky submitted the petition on Tuesday.
— הכנסת (@KnessetIL) February 9, 2017
The law, passed by the Knesset in February, states that any settlements built in the occupied West Bank “in good faith” – without knowledge that the land upon which it was built was privately owned by Palestinians – could be officially recognized by Israel pending minimal proof of governmental support in its establishment and some form of compensation to the Palestinian landowners.
The rights groups argued that the law was not just a contravention of international law but unconstitutional for Israel, as it “clearly violates the basic law: human dignity and liberty, while forcing authorities to expropriate rights of land ownership and usage from Palestinians for an unlimited time period.”
The estimated 196 government recognized Israeli settlements scattered across the Palestinian territory are all considered illegal under international law.
(PC, Ma’an, Social Media)