PLO: Regulation Law legalizes land theft

PLO's Erekat blasts approval of Regulation Law, says it proves Israel wants to destroy the chances for peace.

Ben Ariel,

Saeb Erekat
Saeb Erekat

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Monday blasted the Regulation Law, which passed its second and third readings in the Knesset, saying it is a means to "legalize theft".

In a statement, PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said “the Israeli parliament has just approved a law to legalize theft of Palestinian land. Looting is illegal. All Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestine are illegal and a war crime regardless of any law passed by the Israeli parliament or any decision taken by any Israeli judge.

“The Israeli settlement enterprise negates peace and the possibility of the two-state solution,” he added, saying that the Regulation Law “is also another affirmation by the Israeli government for the Israeli settlers and occupation forces to continue their attacks against the land and people of Palestine.”

Erekat further claimed that the Regulation Law shows “the Israeli government’s will to destroy any chances for a political solution. It's long overdue time to stop treating Israel as a state above the law and to hold it accountable for its systematic violations of international law, in defiance of the collective international will to act for 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 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.

While Erekat accuses Israel of “destroying the two-state solution”, he is ignoring the fact that Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas has consistently refused to negotiate directly with Israel.

Abbas has ignored Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s calls to sit down for direct talks, choosing instead to impose preconditions on talks.