SA: Israeli land bill violates international law

The South African government has opposed the Israeli draft bill, which seeks to legalise random settlement outposts in the West Bank.

Pretoria on Thursday said it was shocked at the bill, which may destroy calls for a two-state solution completely.

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, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said.

The bill has already been condemned by Israel’s Attorney-General, stating that it breaches local and international law. Opposition parties describe it as a land grab move.

The so-called Regulation Bill aims at legalising dozens of outposts which far-right Israelis constructed in the West Bank over the past 20 years. The outposts are currently illegal under both Israeli and international law.

The bill intends to retroactively legalise illegal outposts by turning them into state-sanctioned settlements. It would also open the door for the legalisation of over 3 000 housing units inside existing settlements by expropriating the 5 000 dunams (approximately 1 235.52 acres) 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.

Source: South African Government News Agency