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Irish government joins Europe in criticising Israel's new settlement law

The EU’s foreign policy chief says it “crosses a new and dangerous threshold by legalising under Israeli law the seizure of Palestinian property rights”.

Anti-Israeli demonstrators outside Downing Street, London.
Anti-Israeli demonstrators outside Downing Street, London.
Image: Empics Entertainment

THE GOVERNMENT HAS strongly criticised a decision by Israel to approve legislation that will allow further Israeli settlements on Palestinian soil – threatening to inflame relations between the two territories.

The Israeli law passed yesterday allows for the appropriation of private Palestinian land for Jewish settler outposts, meaning legalisation for dozens of wildcat outposts and thousands of settler homes.

Settlements in both the West Bank and east Jerusalem are viewed as illegal under international law and major stumbling blocks to peace as they are built on land the Palestinians want for their own state.

Commenting on the decision today, the Minister for Foreign affairs Charlie Flanagan said that he was ”deeply disappointed” by the decision of Israeli legislators.

“This represents a further serious setback for the Middle East Peace Process. It has been widely criticised both internationally and by many in Israel.

It is a deepening of the settlements and a flagrant violation of international law.

“I am calling on the Israeli government to recognise the damaging consequences of this course of action and to take a clear decision not to implement the new law.”

‘A new and dangerous threshold’

“The European Union condemns the recent adoption of the ‘Regularisation Law’”, foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said, arguing it “crosses a new and dangerous threshold by legalising under Israeli law the seizure of Palestinian property rights”.

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The 28-nation EU “urges 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”, she said in a statement.

International criticism to the new law has mounted swiftly, with UN chief Antonio Guterres saying it is “contravention of international law”, but the United States (an ally of Israel) has been notably silent.

Flanagan said Ireland remains steadfast in its support for a comprehensive two-state solution which protects the future of both the territories.

With reporting from - © AFP, 2017

Read: John Kerry tells Israel it ‘can either be Jewish or democratic – it cannot be both

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