Likud blasts Supreme Court for striking down pro-settlement law, Blue and White cheers

Netanyahu’s party and its allies criticized the court’s decision, saying it was “unfortunate that the High Court of Justice annulled an important law.”

By World Israel News Staff and AP

Israel’s highest court on Tuesday struck down a law that bestowed legal status on thousands of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria.

Israel’s parliament passed the law in February 2017, but it was frozen by the Supreme Court shortly thereafter while it heard petitions against it.

The court’s decision was slammed by the Likud party, but welcomed by its coalition partners in the Blue and White party, exposing a rift in Israel’s new government.

The court overruled the law Tuesday, arguing that it “retroactively authorized illegal actions done by a particular population in the area while harming the rights of another population.”

According to the law, Palestinian landowners would be compensated either with money or alternative land, even if they did not agree to give up their property.

Israel gained control of Judea and Samaria in 1967’s Six-Day War, after defeating Jordan and the three other Arab nations that attacked the Jewish state. In the decades since, Jews built dozens of towns in Judea and Samaria, which is now home to about half a million Israelis.

The ruling comes just weeks before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to annex Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, a move that Palestinians have vowed to meet with violence and terror.

Netanyahu’s Likud party and its allies criticized the court’s decision. The party said it was “unfortunate that the High Court of Justice intervenes and annuls an important law for the settlements and their future. We will act in order to legislate the law anew.”

The Blue and White party, headed by Defense Minister Benny Gantz, claimed in a statement that the law ran contrary to the Israeli legal code, and that it respected the court’s decision and would ensure that it was carried out.

Blue and White and Likud struck a power-sharing agreement in April following three deadlocked national elections. Their deal calls for Netanyahu to serve as prime minister for the government’s first 18 months before being replaced by Gantz for the next 18 months. Their blocs have a similar number of ministers and mutual veto power over key decisions.

The disagreement over the nullified law exposes a major rift between the two parties concerning the justice system and Israel’s policies vis a vis Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.