Palestinian officials condemned on Thursday the controversial “formalization” bill that would see the retroactive legalization of illegal Israeli outposts in the occupied West Bank, which passed its first reading in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, on Wednesday, saying that Israel’s right-wing has continued to “feed on the silence and indifference of the international community.”
A statement released by the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the international community to “uphold its legal and ethical responsibilities of providing security to the Palestinians,” while “opposing the crimes, violations, and aggression driven by the Israeli occupation.”
The ministry also reiterated the connection between the introduction of the bill and the Israeli Supreme Court decision to demolish the illegal Amona outpost in the central occupied West Bank, a ruling that has been met with strong resistance by right-wing Israelis.
Amona, where at least 40 Israeli families reside, was slated for demolition in 2008 after the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in favor of Palestinians whose private land the settlement outpost was built on. The Supreme Court dismissed a petition by the Israeli government to postpone evacuating Amona on Sunday, ruling that the evacuation be carried out by Dec. 25 as previously ordered by the court.
However, the new bill, if passed, would retroactively legalize the outpost, along with at least 231 additional outposts which are built on top of private Palestinian land, all of which are considered illegal under Israeli domestic law.
While the settler outposts constructed in Palestinian territory are considered illegal by the Israeli government — despite authorities commonly retroactively legalizing the outposts — each of the some 196 government-approved Israeli settlements scattered across the West Bank are also constructed in direct violation of international law.
(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)