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Israel starts demolition of West Bank Jewish outpost

07 February, 2017, 01:00 | Author: Jan Cross

While this bill gives legal cover for these settlements within Israeli law, it does not change the fact that all of Israel's construction of settlements on occupied land are illegal under worldwide law.

However following a ruling by the Supreme Court, Israeli police last week dragged out the few hundred residents, as well as more than 1,000 hardcore supporters.

Indeed, the illegality of Israeli settlements is an open-and-shut case under global law.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to President Donald Trump during their meeting in NY on September 25, 2016.

"Netanyahu is promoting legislation that he himself argued will lead Israel to the ICC", Ben Nun said, referring to the International Criminal Court.

For any structures found to have been built in good faith - that is, if the homeowners did not know the house was being built on privately owned land - the state would seize the property from its Palestinian owners in exchange for compensation valued at slightly more than the land's market value, as determined by an Israeli government committee established for that objective.

Directly inspired by the lengthy saga in Amona, a bill is set to be voted on Monday night that would allow for Israel to legally seize Palestinian private land on which Israelis built without knowing it was private property or because the state allowed them to do so.

Up until now, Netanyahu had every reason to believe that his agenda to colonize Palestinian land would meet with unhesitating approval from the Trump administration, whose core team on Israel-senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, Trump's designee to lead global negotiations Jason Greenblatt, and Trump's nominee to be ambassador to Israel David Friedman-are all staunch backers of Israeli settlements.

On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was unable to make the vote due to a delay in his return flight from an official trip to the United Kingdom, rejected reports that he had been been seeking to delay the final vote until after he meets with new US President Donald Trump on February 15.

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While this leak was widely interpreted as a signal that Trump is intent on putting an unexpected brake on Israel's settlement activity, a self-contradicting statement released by the White House yesterday casts doubt on this explanation.

Speaking to reporters from London, Netanyahu said he had informed the USA administration of the vote, but had never meant to delay it.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already announced plans for an additional settlement, prompting a stern response last week from the Trump administration. On Monday, the Israeli leader said he had informed the Trump White House that a vote on the legislation was imminent.

Settlements are one of the most contentious issues between Israel and the Palestinians.

"We are voting tonight on the connection between the Jewish people to its land. These are basic principles of democracy and Israeli law".

Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit has said some of the bill's provisions are illegal and he can't defend them against court challenges.

The so-called "Regulation Bill" applies to around 4,000 settlement homes in the West Bank for which settlers could prove ignorance that they had built on privately owned land and had received encouragement from the Israeli state to do so. Palestinian owners would receive financial compensation.

William Bell, Christian Aid's Advocacy Officer for the Middle East said: "Growth in illegal settlements is at record levels so these talks are timely and of utmost importance".

Israel disputes this and cites biblical, historical and political connections to the land, as well as security needs.

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