Palestinian groups petitioned Israel’s High Court of Justice to overturn a controversial new law that retroactively legalizes settler homes built on private Palestinian land. In the petition filed Wednesday, they claim the legislation violates international humanitarian law and ask the High Court to issue a temporary injunction against its implementation. The involved Palestinian groups are 17 West Bank municipalities and three Palestinian human rights groups from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Israel.
The regulation law, which the Knesset passed in a raucous late-night session Monday, allows the state to seize private Palestinian land on which settlements or outposts were built, as long as the settlers were not aware of the status of the land. In cases where the landowners are known, they are entitled to compensation. The Palestinian groups argue the law violates the protections international law gives property owners. Further, they say, it harms the dignity of the Palestinians living in the West Bank by putting the interests of the settlers above theirs. Attached to the petition were ariel photographs of settlements build on land within the Palestinian municipalities.
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