Norway concerned over Israel's Regulation Law

Norway says Regulation Law "casts doubts" about Israel's support for the two-state solution.

Ben Ariel ,

Jews of Judea and Samaria
Jews of Judea and Samaria
Flash 90

Norway is concerned over the Regulation Law, which passed its first reading in the Knesset this past week and would legalize the status of communities in Judea and Samaria.

Marit Berger Roesland of the Norwegian Foreign Ministry said on Friday, in a statement quoted by The Associated Press, that the law "casts doubts about Israel's declared support for the two-state solution."

The bill would allow the Israeli government to recognize construction built with government assistance and in good faith — meaning those outposts whose builders were not aware they were constructing on private land. If the original owners of the land are known, they would be eligible to receive financial compensation from the government.

The legislation still needs to pass two more readings at the Knesset in order to become law, but has nevertheless come under fire by the international community.

On Thursday, the European Union expressed its “strong opposition” to the Regulation Law.

“If it passes, this would be the first law adopted by the Knesset on the status of land in the West Bank, an occupied territory not under its jurisdiction. Senior members of the Israeli government have called this a step toward annexation of the West Bank,” the EU statement read.

“Recalling that settlements are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make the two-state solution impossible, the European Union reiterates its strong opposition, in line with the position of the Middle East Quartet, to Israel’s settlement policy and all actions taken in this context,” it added.

Also on Thursday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said the bill would clearly violate international law.

"I strongly urge lawmakers to reconsider their support for this bill, which if enacted, would have far-reaching consequences and would seriously damage the reputation of Israel around the world," claimed Al Hussein.

"In enabling the use of land privately-owned by Palestinians for Israeli settlements without the owners' consent, this legislation would violate international law,” he added.

The State Department blasted the law as well earlier in the week, warning it “would be profoundly damaging to the prospects for a two-state solution”.