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Bennett hails step toward annexation in West Bank

TJI Pick
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Published: 6 December 2016

Last updated: 4 March 2024

A last-minute coalition compromise removed the so called ‘Amona article’ from the Regularisation (or Regulation) Bill, which would have overturned longstanding High Court of Justice rulings, and left Amona to be dealt with by a separate compromise with the A-G using the Absentee Ownership Law. The revised bill, which has since passed a preliminary vote in the Knesset and is scheduled for a first reading on Wednesday 7 December, would legalise structures built with some form of state cooperation on what is considered private Palestinian land by allowing the government to compensate landowners rather than raze the structures. Peace Now says that would legalise 55 outposts and 4,000 housing units in existing Jewish outposts and settlements in the West Bank. Bennett and others hail the Regularisation Bill as a step towards annexation but it is still regarded by the A-G as illegal under both local law applied by Israel and international law and is likely to face a High Court challenge if passed. Questions remain also about the Amona compromise as further Palestinian land claims are filed with the Civil Administration. The Haredi Nahal battalion Netzach Yehuda which has been posted in recent months downhill from Amona, in Ofra, has reportedly been ordered to a different location.

Israeli lawmakers back controversial outpost legalization bill in preliminary vote
– Chaim Levinson – Haaretz 05.12.16
The bill, passed by 60 to 49 votes, would not apply to the unauthorised settlement outpost of Amona, slated for evacuation by December 25. Likud's Benny Begin opposed the bill [and has been suspended from Knesset committee for three weeks in consequence].

Attorney general says outpost bill still illegal, even without Amona
– Tamar Pileggi & Marissa Newman – The Times of Israel 05.12.16
Despite compromise that dropped contested clause to override court ruling, A-G Mandelblit warns revised version legally indefensible even as measure races forward.

Palestinians claim land directly where illegal Israeli outpost would be moved to
- Yotam Berger – Haaretz 05.12.16
Yesh Din says the plots that the state is trying to declare abandoned property are private land with owners who are known and the plan is contrary to international law.

UN envoy: Israeli politicians should oppose the settlement bill – Tovah Lazaroff – The Jerusalem Post 06.12.16
‘If adopted, it will have far reaching legal consequences for Israel, across the occupied West Bank and will greatly diminish the prospect of Arab-Israeli peace.’

And see: As 25 December deadline looms December 3, 2016


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