A general view shows buildings under construction in the illegal Israeli settlement of Har Homa in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds on March 7, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
The French Foreign Ministry has censured a bill adopted by a group of Israeli ministers that could legalize thousands of settlements in the occupied West Bank.
French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said in a daily briefing on Tuesday that the Israeli bill allowing settlers in the West Bank to remain in homes built on private Palestinian land was of a matter of deep concern.
“This proposed law, if it were adopted, would once again jeopardize a two-state solution and would contribute in worsening tensions on the ground. France
is deeply concerned by it,” media outlets quoted Nadal as saying.
“Settlements, under all its forms, are illegal with respect to international law. We call on Israel to respect its international obligations,” Nadal added.
The United States and several other countries have also criticized the new measure by the Israeli regime to legalize illegal settlements built on Palestinian land.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said Israel was seeking to “impose facts on the ground and create new realities by legalizing the illegal actions that it commits.”
French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal
Officials in the United Nations also reacted to the bill, with Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov saying that such measures were “further pouring oil onto the fire.”
The settlement bill seeks to legalize all houses built on Palestinian private land. The legislation states that the Tel Aviv regime can order the confiscation of privately owned Palestinian land in exchange for compensation.
The Israeli parliament should approve the bill on settlements, which was adopted by a committee of Israeli ministers on November 13.
Avihai Mandelblit, Israel’s attorney general, has called the bill legally flawed in its current form.
Israel’s settlement expansion has been among the main reasons behind the collapse of the last round of the so-called Middle East peace talks in 2014.
Over half a million Israelis live in more than 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem al-Quds.
All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. Tel Aviv has defied calls to stop the expansion of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.