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Israeli prosecutor's office says West Bank settlements should be retroactively legalized

Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News

30_military_protecting_settlement.jpg

Israeli military outpost on Palestinian home protecting Israeli settlement expansion (photo Paola Suttita)


September 3, 2009

In two separate court cases heard in Israeli court on Wednesday, a representative for the State Prosecutor's office issued statements that certain settlements previously considered illegal under Israeli law will now be retroactively legalized. The statements could indicate a major policy shift for the Israeli government, and a major rebuke to the US President's recent push for a settlement freeze.

The move came just days after a group of mayors from West Bank settlements met with members of the Israeli Prime Minister's office to demand that all West Bank settlements be recognized, legal or not.

Shaul Goldstein, one of the settler leaders who took part in that meeting, threatened the Prime Minister's Director General, "Everything is in the hands of the prime minister, and there will be no hesitation to do battle with him." Goldstein and the other settler leaders complained that they felt humiliated by the potential for a settlement freeze, arguing that they should be allowed to build and expand the settlements in the West Bank.

The issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank has been a source of friction between the US administration of Barack Obama and the Israeli administration of Binyamin Netanyahu, both inaugurated earlier this year. Over 500,000 Israelis live in settlements constructed in contravention of international law on land seized by military force in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, most of whom moved there after the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993 forbidding any further Israeli encroachment onto Palestinian land.

But Israeli forces have willfully ignored the directives of the Oslo Accords, the Fourth Geneva Convention and UN Resolutions, continuing to protect Israeli settlers' expanding developments on Palestinian land. The Israeli government has differentiated between what it terms 'legal' and 'illegal' settlements, implying that some are acceptable under Israeli law, while others are not. All of the settlements are considered illegal under international law.





:: Article nr. 57602 sent on 04-sep-2009 04:40 ECT

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Link: www.imemc.org/article/61562



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