EU foreign policy chief: Israeli settlements law crosses dangerous threshold

BRUSSELS, February 7, 2017 (WAFA) – European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini Tuesday condemned the so-called “Regularization Law” adopted by the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, on Monday.

“The European Union condemns the recent adoption of the “Regularization Law” by the Israeli Knesset on 6 February,” Mogherini said in a statement. “This law crosses a new and dangerous threshold by legalizing under Israeli law the seizure of Palestinian property rights and effectively authorizing the confiscation of privately owned Palestinian land in occupied territory.”

Mogherini said the law “may provide for ‘legalizing’ numerous settlements and outposts previously considered as illegal even under Israeli law, which would be contrary to previous commitments by Israeli governments and illegal under international law.”

She said that in passing the law, “the Israeli parliament has legislated on the legal status of land within occupied territory, which is an issue that remains beyond its jurisdiction.”

The EU official warned that should the law be implemented, it “would further entrench a one-state reality of unequal rights, perpetual occupation and conflict.”

She said that the EU, also in line with recently adopted UN Security Council resolution 2334, “considers Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory to be illegal under international law and condemns the recent settlement announcements,” which also “constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten the viability of a two-state solution.”

The EU urged the Israeli leadership “to refrain from implementing the law and to avoid measures that further raise tensions and endanger the prospects for a peaceful solution to the conflict, so as to reaffirm unequivocally through actions and policy its continued commitment to a two-state solution in order to rebuild mutual trust and create conditions for direct and meaningful negotiations.”