Abbas: Israel building single, apartheid state with vote to legalize settlements

Published February 8th, 2017 - 08:00 GMT
A general view shows a warning sign along Israel's controversial separation barrier between Israel and the West Bank near the south of Nablus on February 7, 2017. (AFP/Jack Guez)
A general view shows a warning sign along Israel's controversial separation barrier between Israel and the West Bank near the south of Nablus on February 7, 2017. (AFP/Jack Guez)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has poured scorn on the Israeli parliament’s controversial vote to retroactively legalize almost 4,000 settler homes, built unlawfully on Palestinian land.

It is being described as legalized theft.

Israel’s attorney-general, Avihai Mandelblit, said the move is unconstitutional and that he will not defend it in the Supreme Court.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been quick to move on the settlement issue since Trump came to power, sensing a more sympathetic White House.

Earlier the Israeli government approved plans to build thousands of new homes on occupied territory.

President Abbas has been in Paris for meetings with French President François Holland and spoke at the Élysée Palace: ‘‘This law is contrary to international law and we will continue our efforts in the international courts to protect our existence and our land. What Israel is doing is to achieve the establishment of a single state with an apartheid system.

There is no other word for it. If that happens it would be a disaster for us and for the international community and we warn you against it.”

According to the bill, which was passed 60-52 in 120 member Knesset, Palestinians will be compensated, even if they refuse to give up their property.

President Hollande said the law ‘‘opens the way to the annexation of occupied territories.’‘


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