UN urges Israel to reject plan to legalize ‘settlements’

The UN is urging the Israeli government to vote against the Regulation Law, claiming it would reduce the prospect of a peace deal with the Palestinians.

The UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, said that Members of Knesset should vote against the Regulation Law, which would retroactively legalize some 4,000 Jewish outposts in Judea and Samaria.

“If adopted, [the Regulation Law] will have far-reaching legal consequences for Israel, across the occupied West Bank and will greatly diminish the prospect of Arab-Israeli peace,” he said. “Some have pronounced it to be a step towards the annexation of the West Bank.”

Mladenov was apparently responding to remarks by Education Minister and Chairman of the Jewish Home party Naftali Bennett, who earlier this week referred to the Regulation Law as “the spearhead of (Israeli) sovereignty” in Judea and Samaria.

Bennett made his comments shortly after Clause 7, which referenced the Amona outpost, was removed from the original version of the law due to the Kulanu faction’s concern that its inclusion would undermine the authority of Israel’s Supreme Court.

In a 2014 ruling, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that Amona should be demolished by the end of 2016 in light of its findings that the outpost was built on private Palestinian land. Nevertheless, Mladenov contended that the proposed law is intended to legalize such outposts.

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“The legislation has the objective of protecting illegal settlements and outposts built on private Palestinian property in the West Bank,” he stated.

“I reiterate that all settlement activities are illegal under international law and run counter to the Middle East Quartet position that settlements are one of the main obstacles to peace.”

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News