Press Release on Legalisation Law

06/02/17, London: British Jewish pro-Israel, pro-peace organisation Yachad – which campaigns for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – has condemned as “disastrous” the outpost ‘legalisation’ law that passed the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, this evening. The new law, passed hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to London where he assured Prime Minister Theresa May that Israel “will never give up on our quest for peace”, retroactively legalises thousands of housing units built in dozens of settlements across the West Bank.

Echoing the words of opposition lawmaker and former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who described the bill as “legitimizing theft”, Yachad director Hannah Weisfeld commented:

“This is a disastrous step, taken in blatant disregard for both Israeli and international law. It will do significant damage, both to the possibility of a political resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to the rule of law in Israel. The Knesset has now legalised the theft of land owned by non-citizens in territory outside its legal jurisdiction. This demonstrates that the commitment to peace Benjamin Netanyahu made in his meeting this morning with Theresa May was nothing more than lip service.

We have heard from successive Israeli governments and their representatives that the main stumbling block to a two-state solution is the Palestinian leadership’s failure to compromise. This law makes a mockery of that argument, demonstrating that both sides share the blame for the continued failure to resolve the conflict. Israel’s supporters around the world should push this government to change its policy to support peacebuilding, not settlement building.”