Attorney General responds to Expropriation Law Petition

Attorney General responds to Expropriation Law Petition submitted by ACRI, Peace Now and Yesh Din to High Court of Justice


Today, November 22 2017, Israel’s Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit, responded to the petition challenging the “Regularization Law,” submitted by ACRI, Yesh Din, and Peace Now to Israel’s High Court of Justice (HCJ) on March 3 2017 on behalf of 27 Palestinian local councils, 4 Palestinian landowners and 13 Israeli civil society organizations.

The Attorney General refused to represent the government in court on this case, given his strong and clear objection to the law, as detailed in the response submitted today.

Mandelblit’s response corresponds with the arguments the petitioners presented against the Regularization Law (otherwise called the “Expropriation Law”): The law is invalid and meant to retroactively legalize illegal construction on private Palestinian land and is not applied in “good faith.” In his response, the Attorney General underlines the petitioners’ position that the law violates Palestinians’ right to property and prioritizes settler interests while ignoring Israel’s duty to protect the local Palestinian population under its occupation. The Attorney General noted that the law outlines an arrangement of land expropriation “that is inherently flawed.”

However, despite opposing the “Regularization Law”, Mandelblit has recently approved other legal steps to allow for the takeover of privately owned Palestinian land. During the past two weeks, the AG issued two legal opinions, one concerning land near the Harsha outpost and another in Ofra, in which he approved expropriation of private Palestinian land for the sole benefit of settlements.

In his legal opinions Mandelblit fails to recognize that any takeover of private Palestinian land for the purpose of settlements stands in violation of IHL, specifically the laws of occupation that apply to the West Bank.

To read the Attorney General’s Response in Hebrew, click here

For more information and background on the Expropriation Law, click here

To read the petition in Hebrew, click here

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Categories: Anti-Democratic Initiatives, Democracy and Civil Liberties, Impact of Settlements, The Occupied Territories

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