Watchdogs: Israel settlement bid slap in face of int’l community

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Palestinian and Israeli activists and human rights watchdogs lashed out at the Israeli government for passing a bill legalizing settlement outposts built on Palestinian land across the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian Authority (PA) spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaina, said the Knesset’s approval of the Regulation Bill in its second and third readings is “unacceptable” and one that stands in sharp contrast to the UN Security Council Resolution No. 2334 passed in December 2016.

The PA spokesperson urged the international community to take immediate action against the bill before it is too late.

Islamic Jihad leader Mohamed al-Hindi slammed the PA, chaired by Mahmoud Abbas, for failing to protect its citizens and lands.

“The PA has to step down and leave the floor for the Palestinian people so as to rise up against the Israeli occupation and protect their land and property,” said al-Hindi.

He wondered about the reason why Abbas has not plucked up his courage yet and filed a lawsuit against Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The leftist Peace Now NGO also leveled heavy criticism at the bill, dubbing it “a scar of shame” on Israel’s face.

The Israeli Yesh Din organization described, in a tweet, the law as “illegal and immoral.”

B’Tselem human rights watchdog also spoke out against the bill, saying it rather seeks a legal cover for Israeli land grab.

B’Tselem added that the law “is a shameful scar on Israel’s face and its legislative body.”

The organization dubbed the bill “an Israeli slap in the face of the international community.”

The Israeli Knesset on Monday passed a law legalizing the expropriation of privately owned Palestinian land, in what critics warned would mark the first step toward the annexation of parts of the West Bank, while paving the way for possible future prosecution of Israel for war crimes.

The UN in December passed a resolution condemning settlements and demanding that Israel halt illegal settlement activity immediately.

(Source / 07.02.2017)

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