Israeli Supreme Court strikes down law allowing Israel to expropriate private West Bank Palestinian lands for settlements

On 9th June 2020, The Israeli Supreme Court issued a decision striking down the Settlements Regularization Law. Trust grantee Adalah – the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, whose joint petition against the Law led to the decision, states that this ruling is “an achievement against Israel’s threatened impending annexation of parts of the West Bank; nothing justifies war crimes.”

The Settlements Regularization Law in the West Bank, which had allowed Israel to expropriate private Palestinian land in the West Bank and “regularized” the Israeli settlements built on it, was initially passed by the Israeli Knesset in February 2017. This Law’s “regularization” had legalised settlements in the West Bank under Israeli domestic law.

Two days after the Law’s enactment, on 8th February 2017, Adalah, along with the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC), Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, and 17 Palestinian local authorities in the West Bank, petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court against the Law.

In response to the Supreme Court ruling of 9th June 2020, Adalah says, “This is a significant achievement against Israel’s threatened impending annexation of parts of the West Bank. The Supreme Court decision stresses that the Knesset cannot legislate laws that violate international humanitarian law. There exist no circumstances that justify the commission of war crimes – including the transfer of Israeli civilians to occupied Palestinian territory while stealing Palestinian land.”

On Tuesday 30th June, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted at possible delays to his plan to annex Israeli settlements and the Jordan Valley by the 1st July.

Read Adalah’s briefing paper against the law here:

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