The South African Goverment received with shock the news that on Wednesday, 07 December 2016, members of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) for the Jewish Home Party tabled the Regulations Bill whose purpose is to legitimise the continuing annexation of Palestinian land for settlement construction.
The Bill has already been condemned by Israel’s Attorney-General, stating that it breaches local and international law. Opposition parties correctly described it as a “land grab” move.
The Bill intends to retroactively legalise 55 illegal outposts by turning them into state-sanctioned settlements. The Bill would also open the door for the legalisation of over 3000 housing units inside existing settlements by expropriating the 5000 dunams of private Palestinian land. It seeks to legalise housing units built by settlers on private Palestinian land if the construction was carried out in “good faith,” including situations where settlers might not have known that the land was Palestinian and received some support from the state, be it explicit or implicit support.
South Africa reiterates that the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory is a direct obstacle to the peace negotiations and is contrary to international law. South Africa calls on all peace-loving people throughout the world to stand up in defence of the two-state solution and strongly opposes the “land grab” Bill.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of International Relations and Cooperation.