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Mogherini
Photo: EPA
European Union adds to condemnation of Regulation Bill
Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, releases statement on newly approved Regulation Bill, saying that it 'crosses a new and dangerous threshold.'
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini issued a statement on Tuesday in criticism of the Regulation Bill adopted by the Knesset, which will retroactively legalize thousands of West Bank settlement homes built on private Palestinian land.

 

 

"The European Union condemns the recent adoption of the 'Regularization Law' by the Israeli Knesset on 6 February. This law crosses a new and dangerous threshold by legalizing under Israeli law the seizure of Palestinian property rights and effectively authorizing the confiscation of privately owned Palestinian land in occupied territory. The law may provide for 'legalizing' numerous settlements and outposts previously considered as illegal even under Israeli law, which would be contrary to previous commitments by Israeli governments and illegal under international law.


Mogherini (L) and Netanyahu (Photo: Amit Shabi) (Photo: Amit Shabi)
Mogherini (L) and Netanyahu (Photo: Amit Shabi)

 

"In passing this new law, the Israeli parliament has legislated on the legal status of land within occupied territory, which is an issue that remains beyond its jurisdiction," said Mogherini. "Should it be implemented, the law would further entrench a one-state reality of unequal rights, perpetual occupation and conflict," the statement continued.

 

Mogherini (Photo: AFP)
Mogherini (Photo: AFP)

 

The EU, also in line with recently adopted UN Security Council resolution 2334, the statement went on, "considers Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory to be illegal under international law and condemns the recent settlement announcements. As identified in the recommendations of the report by the Middle East Quartet, such settlements constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten the viability of a two-state solution.

 

Mogherini's statement then said that "the EU urges the Israeli leadership to refrain from implementing the law and to avoid measures that further raise tensions and endanger the prospects for a peaceful solution to the conflict, so as to reaffirm unequivocally through actions and policy its continued commitment to a two-state solution in order to rebuild mutual trust and create conditions for direct and meaningful negotiations."

 

With her somewhat belated statement, Mogherini thus joins numerous represetnatives of other international bodies and nations to come out against the approved bill, such as UN Secretary-General António Guterres, whose bureau expressed his objection to the bill earlier Tuesday evening.

 

"The Secretary-General deeply regrets the adoption of the so called "Regularization bill" on 6 February by the Knesset. This bill is in contravention of international law and will have far reaching legal consequences for Israel," said the statement ascribed to Guterres.

 

Eariler, a Palestinian Cabinet minister on Tuesday called on the international community to punish Israel for a contentious new law, just hours after the Knesset adopted the law.

 

French President François Hollande called on the Israeli government to repeal the law, warning that it marked the beginning of annexation.

 

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