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Rights groups challenge controversial new Israeli settler law

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By Euronews
Rights groups challenge controversial new Israeli settler law

Rights groups in Israel have petitioned the country’s Supreme Court against a new law which legalises settler homes built on privately owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.

The measure passed by the Israeli parliament on Monday drew widespread international condemnation.

Israel’s attorney-general says the law, which retroactively sanctions thousands of settler homes, is unconstitutional.

Other legal commentators say it is unlikely to survive judicial challenges.

Former state prosecutor Talia Sasson, who in 2005 spearheaded an inquiry into outposts said: “The state of Israel, when we are talking about Israel, has no sovereignty over there. And the Israeli law is not applying there, according to the Israeli government and Knesset. So how come the Knesset could legislate a law that applies there? If the Knesset can legislate law that applies in the West Bank, why can’t it legislate laws that apply in London or Paris?”

Under the law, settlers could remain if they built on land without prior knowledge of Palestinian ownership or with the Israeli state’s permission.

The EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has said the measure would cross a new and dangerous threshold if implemented.

President Mahmoud Abbas called it an aggression against the Palestinian people.