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The New Arab

Israel's 'illegal' settlement bill sparks international outrage

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas spoke alongside French President Francois Hollande at a press conference [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 8 February, 2017

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The UN, the EU and Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas were just some of those coming out against the legislation passed in parliament late on Monday.
A new Israeli law legalising the appropriation of private Palestinian land for Jewish settler outposts has drawn international outcry on Tuesday.

The United Nations, the European Union and the Palestinian president were just some of those coming out against the legislation passed in parliament late on Monday. 

"This bill is in contravention of international law and will have far reaching legal consequences for Israel," UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in a statement.

The controversial law will allow Israel to declare private Palestinian land on which settlements or outposts are built as state property, denying the owners the right to use or hold those lands pending proceedings to determine their status. 

The EU strongly condemned the bill, calling it a "dangerous" move.

"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". 

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.

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas slammed the law, calling it an "attack against our people" while being "obviously against the wishes of the international community".

Speaking alongside Abbas at a press conference in Paris, French President Francois Hollande said: "I want to believe that Israel and its government will reconsider this law."

Separately, Britain said the new bill "damages Israel's standing with its international partners", while Turkey "strongly condemned" the law and Israel's "unacceptable" settlement policy. 

Meanwhile, the Arab League accused Israel of "stealing the land and appropriating the property of Palestinians". 

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 Palestinian land.

As international criticism to the new law mounts swiftly, the US has remained notably silent.

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