Updated: The Knesset on Wednesday voted down a bill called the "Settlement Arrangement Law," a motion tailored to legalize settlement areas and outposts in the West Bank facing legal challenges from Palestinians who claim to own the land privately. The vote failed (69 against, 22 in favor) despite severe pressure from the right this week, and following Prime Minister Netanyahu's threat to fire any government minister who supports the bill. On Tuesday the Attorney General approved a compromise plan offered by Netanyahu, which ensures the future of settlement expansion in the West Bank. In a fierce legislative battle to win state approval for settlement…Read More... | 11 Comments
Just weeks after the Supreme Court ruling against any further delay in evacuating the outpost settlement of Migron, the government is now working industriously to legalize or otherwise legitimize the status of Givat Ha'ulpana, a neighborhood of the West Bank settlement of Beit El, near Ramallah. In 2008, human rights organization Yesh Din petitioned to have the neighborhood dismantled on behalf of its Palestinian owners; in September 2011, the Court found that Givat Ha'ulpana was indeed built on privately-owned Palestinian lands – in simple terms, this is property theft. The state agreed to demolish the neighborhood (Hebrew) then, and the…Read More... | 7 Comments
Haaretz reports today that the state will postpone the dismantling of the West Bank settlement outpost known as Givat Assaf, close to Beit El – never mind that the government has yet to bother cooking up any new excuses for doing so. Haaretz explains that following a 2007 petition to the High Court of Justice by Peace Now against six settlements in the area, the state has been evading dismantling the outposts with various claims (‘wait! we’re negotiating with them’). After a Court injunction, the outposts were supposed to have been either legalized or evacuated by the end of the…Read More... | 21 Comments
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