Dr. Hanan Ashrawi

Ashrawi: Knesset bill aims to legalize annexation of the occupied West Bank

 PNN/ Ramallah/

 PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi in  a statement on Monday said that the decision by the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation to strip the High Court of jurisdiction over Palestinian cases regarding land and property confiscation and to refer them to the “Jerusalem District Court” will entrench the military occupation indefinitely.

“With such legislation, Israel is seeking to impose its sovereignty on all of the occupied West Bank, systematically erasing the Palestinian presence and continuity on Palestinian land,” Ashrawi said.

“By applying Israeli law to the illegal settlements in the West Bank, the settlers will be emboldened to embark on a land grab, and the Palestinians will be prevented from seeking recourse and any kind of justice to protect their land and properties,” she added.

The proposal was introduced by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked who has openly advocated for the genocide of the Palestinian people and recently said, “We’re not in Judea and Samaria [occupied West Bank] in order to disappear one day. We’re here for 50 years already, and we will be here for another 5,000 years. Our policy is clear: Settlement in the entire Land of Israel and normalization of life in Judea and Samaria [occupied West Bank].”

“Israel is legalizing the expropriation of Palestinian land and its illegal settlement enterprise which are a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and an egregious violation of international law and conventions, including UNSC resolution 2334,” Ashrawi added.

Since U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration’s recent unilateral moves to further victimize the Palestinian people with total disdain for international law and consensus, Israel has stepped up its illegal measures and cruel policies, primarily its land theft, settlement activities, home demolitions, and excessive use of violence.  It is further encouraged by the international community’s inaction and lack of intervention to curb Israeli violations.

The whole Israeli legal system is being distorted in the service of illegal settlements to become an instrument of the occupation as a whole,” Ashrawi concluded.

To its part, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned the  endorsement of a bill, saying it is part of a number of racist and expansionist laws, which are passed by the Israeli government with the aim of strengthening the right of the right to rule in the State of Israel, which will accelerate the theft the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory.

“The Ministry believes that the Israeli right wing claims that this law aims at “achieving equality” between Palestinians and Israelis is pure falsity,” statement said.

“The justice system in Israel as a whole is an integral part of the occupation system, and equality cannot be achieved between a nation that confiscates and settles on the land of another nation. This law aims at legislating settlements, legitimizing and expanding them, and facilitating the confiscation of private Palestinian land. The Ministry also considers that the proposed bill is part of Israel’s right-wing efforts to impose Israeli law on the occupied West Bank, as part of the occupying state, to deepen the systematic and dangerous system of apartheid in Israel,” the ministry concluded.