Canadian Friends of Peace Now utterly condemns the outrageous new law passed by the Israeli Knesset which legalizes illegal settler construction on private Palestinian land.

The measure retroactively allows outright theft by settlers, giving post facto authorization to 55 West Bank settlement outposts that were illegally built by settlers on land recognized by the State of Israel as privately-owned by Palestinians.

The legislation contradicts commitments of successive Israeli governments to remove illegal settler construction and to not establish new settlements. It gives settlers a green light and an incentive to expand settlements not only on the approximately 50% of the West Bank that Israel has previously found “legal” ways to take control of, but also on land that Israel recognizes as privately owned by Palestinians.  And it confirms that Israel does not respect the basic right of Palestinians to own property, when that property is coveted by the settlers.

We salute Peace Now, which, together with other progressive Israeli organizations, will petition the Supreme Court to overturn this dangerous legislation.

As Peace Now in Israel puts it “this law..makes theft on official Israeli policy and stains the Israeli law books. By giving a green light to settlers to build illegally on private Palestinian land, the legalization law is another step towards annexation and away from a two state solution. In light of this madness, we must act as the responsible adults and turn to the Supreme Court in order to strike down this dangerous law.”