Palestinians decry Israeli law which ‘legalizes theft’ of their land

DW – February 7, 2017

Palestinians have reacted angrily to the approval by Israel’s parliament of a controversial law legalizing dozens of Jewish settlements. The legislation promises to compensate Palestinian owners with cash or other land.

The law, which passed by a vote of 60 to 52 on Monday night, retroactively legalized about 4,000 settler homes built on privately-owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.

The legislation applies to 53 outposts and homes within existing settlements, according to the anti-settlement organization Peace Now.

But analysts said its passage may only be largely symbolic as it contravenes Israeli Supreme Court rulings on property rights.

Israel’s attorney-general has warned the law is unconstitutional and that he will not defend it in the country’s top court.

In response to Monday’s vote, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) slammed the new law as a means to “legalize theft” and demonstrated “the Israeli government’s will to destroy any chances for a political solution.”