UN official tells Knesset members to vote against ‘Regulation Bill’

The UN’s coordinator for the Mideast peace process is calling upon the Knesset to vote down legislation that aims to prevent any future demolition of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria. 

The United Nations (UN) Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process,  Nickolay Mladenov, urged Members of the Knesset on Monday evening to vote against the proposed “Regulation Law.”

“I am concerned by the scheduled vote on the so-called ‘Regularization Bill’ as it would enable the continued use of privately-owned Palestinian land for Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank,” Mladenov said in a statement. “I urge Israeli legislators to reconsider this move.”

The legislation would prevent the future demolition of any homes in Judea and Samaria that are found ex-post facto by Israel’s High Court to have been built on private Palestinian land. The small community of Amona, that was located in the Binyamin region a short drive north of Jerusalem, was evacuated last week in accordance with a High Court ruling in 2014 that found it to have been built on private property.

Mladenov also appeared to make an implicit threat against Israel adopting such a law, suggesting that there would be “far reaching legal consequences.”

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“If adopted into law, it will have far reaching legal consequences for Israel and greatly diminish the prospects for Arab-Israeli peace,” he said. “Settlements are illegal under international law and, as outlined in the Middle East Quartet report, present one of the main impediments to peace.”

Opposition MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) had expressed concern on Saturday evening that the legislation “will lead IDF soldiers to The Hague.”

The Trump administration, however, made it clear last week that, in contrast with Mladenov, it does not perceive Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria to be roadblocks to peace.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted from the United Kingdom’s Foreign Office that although he did not seek approval for the Regulation Law from the Trump administration, he had still informed the White House of Monday evening’s scheduled vote on the bill.

“I never said I want to push it off,” he stressed. “I act according to national interests.”

“In my view, you don’t surprise friends,” he continued. “Friends don’t surprise each other. Friends update each other. That’s what I did.”

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News