International condemnations keep pouring in over Israel’s recent passing of a highly controversial law which legalized structures built on Palestinian land with retroactive force.
The Israeli Knesset (parliament) rubber-stamped the so-called “Legalization Bill” late Monday, barely two months after the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution declaring that settlement construction “constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has blasted the move, emphasizing its illegal status under international law and warning that it “will have far-reaching legal consequences for Israel.”
A chorus of outcry rang out across the international community, including from Israel’s own allies.
All Israeli settlements in Jerusalem al-Quds and the West Bank are viewed by the international community as illegal and subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied territory.
Palestinians cry foul
On Tuesday, the Palestinian Fatah movement in Ramallah and the Gaza-based resistance movement Hamas condemned the law.
“This is an escalation that would only lead to more instability and chaos,” warned Nabil Abu Rdeneh, spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas.
In a similar statement, chief Palestinian negotiator Sa’eb Erekat said Israel's “Legalizing Theft” law gives the green light to Israeli settlers and forces “to continue their attacks against the land and people of Palestine.”
Palestinian Tourism and Antiquities Minister Rula Maayaa said, “Nobody can legalize the theft of the Palestinian lands.”
Meanwhile, Abdel Latif al-Qanou, a Hamas spokesman, said the law amounts to “organized terror…and the continuation of wanton Israeli aggression at the expense of the Palestinian people.”
Israel’s allies enraged
On Tuesday, Germany, Britain and the Czech Republic also joined France and Turkey to censure the Israeli parliament’s decision.
A spokesman for the German Foreign Office said in Berlin that the Israeli parliament’s move “disappointed many in Germany who have deep ties to Israel and who have stood by it.”
Britain’s Minister for the Middle East and Africa, Tobias Ellwood, also said, “It is of great concern that the bill paves the way for significant growth in settlements in the West Bank.”
“As a longstanding friend of Israel, I condemn the passing of the Land Regularization Bill by the Knesset, which damages Israel’s standing with its international partners,” Ellwood pointed out.
This is while the administration of new US President Donald Trump has so far remained silent.
Trump has set a markedly pro-Tel Aviv tone, which Israeli authorities are seeking to exploit to the regime’s advantage in the face of international indignation.