Israel legalises West Bank settlements

Israel's parliament has passed a law legalising settlements on Palestinian territory. Representatives of the conservative Likud party and the right-wing pro-settlement party The Jewish Home see the move as a first step towards establishing Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank. Is this a final departure from the two-state solution?

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Le Monde (FR) /

Judiciary could stop right-wing course

Even though the law has been passed the Israeli right still can't be sure of victory, Le Monde writes optimistically:

“The move is laden with symbolism: the members of parliament have legislated on land outside Israel's national territory. The course being taken is clear: the beginning of annexation and the abandonment of the very idea of a Palestinian state. But the game isn't over. Appeals must immediately be launched with the Supreme Court. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has spoken out against the law. The judiciary opposes the Israeli right and could win the day. In Washington, the Trump administration has expressed its displeasure. The European Union has cancelled a meeting with Israel. As if everyone - finally - sensed the danger represented by a policy whose result will be to make peace more impossible than ever.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

Israel making peace all but impossible

By legalising Jewish settlements and other construction projects on the West Bank, Israel - backed by Donald Trump - is opting for confrontation instead of peace, The Irish Times criticises:

“Israel's right wing government has clearly been emboldened by the election of a benevolent Donald Trump whom Netanyahu meets for the first time next week. And, although Netanyahu, unlike some of his cabinet, has not formally repudiated the two-state formula which has near unanimous international support as a basis for peace, he has taken to talking about a 'state-minus' formula. What he means precisely is unclear to everyone, except inasmuch as it appears that he is ruling out an eventual equality between Israeli and Palestine states without which a deal is almost certainly impossible.”

Público (PT) /

UN perpetuating Israeli occupation

The United Nations is playing a role in ensuring that the occupation of the Palestinian territories by Israel continues, Alexandra Lucas Coelho criticises in Público:

“2017 marks the anniversary of a very old war: Israel has been illegally controlling and populating Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem for half a century. The Six-Day War in 1967 was a lightning victory for Israel against the Arab countries, but the occupation of the Palestinian territories which ensued is a war that continues to this day - with millions of hostages. … And even if for millions of people living there the United Nations represents food, healthcare and education, it also means that the UN is effectively helping to perpetuate the occupation. This year it is high time we began asking what the tons of documents, money and aid from the UN have done to end the Israeli occupation?”