UN envoy: Regulation Law 'undermines' peace

UN envoy to the Middle East blasts Regulation Law at the Security Council. Ambassador Danon responds.

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Uzi Baruch,

Nickolay Mladenov
Nickolay Mladenov
Reuters

The UN envoy to the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, on Thursday blasted the Regulation Law at a debate on the Israel-Palestinian Arab conflict in the Security Council.

The debate opened with a public briefing by Mladenov on the current situation in Israel. The envoy spent much of the briefing discussing and attacking the Regulation Law, saying, "Its passage marks a significant shift in Israel’s position concerning the legal status of the West Bank and the applicability of Israeli law therein."

Mladenov remarked that "according to the Israeli attorney general, [the Regulation Law] is also unconstitutional. It is expected that the Supreme Court of Israel will rule on its constitutionality soon. If the law stays in place, it will have far-reaching consequences for Israel while seriously undermining prospects for the two-state solution and for Arab-Israeli peace.”

The envoy concluded by claiming that Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria are "one of the main obstacles to peace."

The Regulation Law legalizes and protects thousands of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria which were built with government backing and lacked absentee land claims, but against which there are now property claims.

Under the Regulation Law, homes built on such properties will be allowed to remain, and owners with proven claims to the land will be given a choice of receiving an alternate plot of land or monetary compensation for 125% of their land's value.

Israel’s UN Ambassador, Danny Danon, answered Mladenov’s accusations on Thursday by noting that "settlements in Judea and Samaria are not an obstacle to peace. Palestinian incitement and intransigence are the true obstacles to peace."

"It is time for the UN to stop the obsessive fixation with the only democracy in the Middle East and concentrate instead on the Syrian refugee crisis, the region’s most serious humanitarian disaster," added Danon.

The Regulation Law has been met with international criticism. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres slammed the passage of the law, calling the move illegal under international law and warning it would “have far reaching legal consequences for Israel.”

French President Francois Hollande blasted the law as well, claiming that it would pave the way for annexation of Judea and Samaria, and even went so far as to demand that the Israeli government repeal the legislation.

The European Union (EU) claimed the Regulation Law "crosses a new and dangerous threshold by legalizing under Israeli law the seizure of Palestinian property rights".