Israel’s Settlers Clear Path to Annexation with New Land Law

By Jonathan Cook

The Israeli parliament passed the “Regularization Bill”, on Monday night–a piece of legislation every bit as suspect as its title suggests. The law widens the powers of Israeli officials to seize the final fragments of Palestinian land in the West Bank that were supposed to be off-limits.

Palestinian leaders warned that the law hammered the last nail in the coffin of a two-state solution. Government ministers gleefully agreed. For them, this is the extension of Israeli law into the West Bank and the first step towards its formal annexation.

The legalization law–also commonly translated from Hebrew as the regulation or validation law–was the right’s forceful response to the eviction last week of a few dozen families from a settlement “outpost” called Amona. It was a rare and brief setback for the settlers, provoked by a court ruling that took three years to enforce.

The evacuation of 40 families was transformed into an expensive piece of political theater, costing $40 million. It was choreographed as a national trauma to ensure such an event is never repeated.

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