S. Africa opposes Israeli’s controversial bill

The South African government said it is opposed to Israel’s controversial bill which is viewed to legitimize the continuing capture of Palestinian land.

The South African government “received with shock” the news that the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) passed the bill on Wednesday, described as a “land grab” bill by opposition parties against it, the SA Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement.

“South Africa reiterates that the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory is a direct obstacle to the peace negotiations and is contrary to international law,” the statement said.

South Africa calls on all peace-loving people throughout the world to stand up in defence of the two-state solution and strongly opposes the “land grab” bill, according to department spokesperson Clayson Monyela.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Thursday also urged Israel to reconsider the bill that might legalize its outposts in the occupied West Bank.

The passing of the bill would further deprive the Palestinians of their land and their livelihoods, the high commissioner said.

He stressed that if adopted, the bill would allow the retroactive “legalization” of so-called Israeli outposts constructed on privately-owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.

According to figures provided by the UN, at present at least 570,000 Israeli settlers live in some 130 settlements and 100 outposts in the West Bank, and initial work of some NGOs showed that the new bill would clear the way for the potential retroactive legalization of 55 illegal outposts and approximately 4,000 housing units in settlements and outposts built on over 800 hectares of private Palestinian land.


Xinhua/Zainab Sa’id