High Court Freezes 'Settlement' Legalization Bill

“I will restore My people Yisrael. They shall rebuild ruined cities and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and drink their wine; They shall till gardens and eat their fruits.” Amos 9:14 (The Israel Bible™)

The High Court of Justice issued a temporary injunction Thursday suspending a Knesset law that would retroactively legalize Israeli settlements built on private Palestinian land in Judea and Samaria.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit asked the court to issue the injunction as the Judea and Samaria Regulation Law was due to come into effect even though two appeals against it are currently pending and will be heard only later this year.

The Regulation Law was passed in February 2017 and would retroactively legalize close to 4,000 homes built on private Palestinian land by expropriating land rights to the state. The Palestinian landowners would be compensated with alternate lands or compensation at a rate of 125 percent of the land’s value.

Mandelblit has refused to defend the Regulation Law, which he has said is indefensible in court and could put Israel in breach of international law, leading to legal action against it at the International Criminal Court. With Mandelblit stepping aside, the State will be represented in court by a private lawyer, Harel Arnon.

As a result of the freeze, the State will neither be able to demolish illegally built homes nor to regulate homes built on private Palestinian land.

The Binyamin Regional Council, where many of the homes in question are located,  said that “any delay in the full implementation of the law extends the time that residents of the Council are harmed, including in property, education and equality, and also hurts the Council’s ability to ensure the welfare of its residents.”

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