Israel goes to courts to legalize settlements 12May11 May 13, 2011

The Palestinian Information Centre  -  12 May 2011

Israel has declared to the high court that illegal construction on what can be declared as state land will be deemed legal, the Israeli Peace Now organization reported earlier this week.

But building that was unauthorized built on private Palestinian land would be dismantled in a year’s time, Israel has also declared.

If passed, the new policy infers that the Israeli cabinet must convene and ”officially decide on the establishment of new settlements for the first time since the Oslo process started in early 90′s”.

The move came in response to petitions made by Peace Now and other rights groups in the court over the construction of many illegal structures erected in West Bank settlement outposts.

The group emphasized: ”This is not merely a formal move, or a matter of technical definition – legalizing an outpost implies a formal government decision to establish a new settlement, a move which has been avoided for political reasons since 1992.”

Meanwhile, the director-general of Al-Quds International Institution Yassin Hammoud has sent new appeals to high-level Arab diplomats urging them to intervene as Israel’s Judaization of Jerusalem has heightened.

Those diplomats include Arab foreign ministers and Arab League secretary-general Amr Moussa and OIC secretary-general Ekmelledin Ihsanoglu.

Jerusalem rights groups recently uncovered that Israel had been linking a network of underground tunnels under and around the Aqsa Mosque.

The Jerusalem authority also leveled the historic Shepherd hotel in the Sheikh Jarrah district after illegaly acquiring it to pave the way for the largest yet settlement outpost in east Jerusalem less than a kilometer away from the Old City.

The memorandum suggests that influential organizations should exert pressure on the Israel government, warning that without foreign support, new rounds of clashes could flare in the region as locals try and protect their right to residency in their native holy city.

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