Palestinians: Israel's New Land-grab Law Kills Two-state Solution

The Israeli Parliament has finalised a controversial law legalising dozens of Jewish outposts built on private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.

According to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, "the American desire for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians has remained unchanged for 50 years", presumably referencing the historically bipartisan United States support for UN Security Council Resolution 242, which established the "land-for-peace" paradigm undergirding all Arab-Israeli negotiations since 1967.

Israeli settlers scuffle with security forces at the Amona outpost during an evacuation operation on February 1, 2017.

Global law considers all settlements to be illegal, but Israel distinguishes between those it sanctions and those it does not, dubbed outposts.

The Joint List, the main Israeli Arab party, also blasted the law, saying "it legitimizes the crimes of the occupation, legitimizes the theft of Palestinian land, executes the diplomatic solution [to the conflict] and seals off any chance of peace".

While the vote is scheduled to happen at 10:30 Israel, Anat Ben Nun, a spokesperson for Peace Now, an Israeli NGO and activist group aimed at promoting a two-state solution, told Mondoweiss that the vote could still possibly be postponed. "The train leaves from here will only stop at The Hague", Herzog said in reference to the International Criminal Court.

The private Palestinian land would be seized by the government and held until there is a final resolution of decades-long Israel-Palestinian conflict.

"It looks like it has enough support in the Knesset to go through", the MK said.

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The move is seen as another step towards at least partial annexation of the West Bank, and could lead to a host of illegal settlements built on privately owned Palestinian land being legalised retroactively.

Netanyahu did not participate in the vote since he was returning from a trip to London.

On Monday, Haaretz released a damning editorial, criticizing the bill.

"If the vote takes place, the majority of our lawmakers will raise their hands to approve a bill that will steal land from Palestinians", the continued.

Over the course of the year, a decision will be made as to whether these lands can be expropriated.

Meanwhile, the Palestine Liberation Organisation called the bill a "declaration of war".

Most countries consider the settlements illegal and an obstacle to peace as they reduce and fragment the territory Palestinians want for a viable state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

  • Kyle Warner