By AFP – Feb 09,2017 – JORDAN TIMES
A picture taken on Sunday from the West Bank city of Hebron shows a general view of the nearby Israeli settlement of Givat Harsina (AFP photo)
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Israeli and Palestinian rights groups petitioned the supreme court on Wednesday asking it to strike down a new law allowing expropriation of private Palestinian land for Jewish settlers.
The law has sparked an outpouring of condemnation from around the world since it was passed in the Israeli parliament late Monday, although the United States has remained tight-lipped.
The act, which legalises dozens of wildcat outposts and thousands of settler units in the occupied West Bank, now faces a legal challenge, however.
Israeli group Adalah said that it and the Palestinian NGO, Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Centre (JLAC), sought to overturn the “dangerous” law.
“We have very strong arguments against the law,” Adalah’s lawyer Suhad Bishara said outside the court.
“We definitely hope that the supreme court will declare that the law is unconstitutional and thus cancel it.”
The law is seen by critics as promoting at least partial annexation of the West Bank, a key demand for parts of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government.
Its backers want to prevent a repeat of last week’s traumatic forcible eviction of the wildcat settlement outpost of Amona, in the northern West Bank.
International law considers all settlements to be illegal, but Israel distinguishes between those it sanctions and those it does not, dubbed outposts.