The Israeli High Court issued a decision last night striking down the Settlements Regularization Law which had allow Israel to expropriate private Palestinian land in the West Bank and to “regularize” or “legalize” the Israeli settlements built on it under Israeli domestic law.
On 6 February 2017, the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, enacted the “Settlements Regularization Law for Judea and Samaria [the West Bank]”, and just two days later, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC), Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, and 17 Palestinian local authorities in the West Bank petitioned the Israeli High Court against the law.
“This is a significant achievement against Israel’s threatened impending annexation of parts of the West Bank. The Supreme Court decision stresses that the Knesset cannot legislate laws that violate international humanitarian law. There exist no circumstances that justify the commission of war crimes – including the transfer of Israeli civilians to occupied Palestinian territory while stealing Palestinian land,” Adalah said in a response to the court’s ruling.
JLAC also said in its response that “the challenge now is to follow up on the demolition of Israeli settlement construction built on private Palestinian land and ensure that these lands are returned to their owners – an undertaking that the Israeli state and military will make all efforts to block.”