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Jun-04-2012 14:24printcomments

APN Opposes Knesset Bill 'Legalizing' Illegal Settlement Construction

"... This week, yet again, Netanyahu shows that he is not serious about peace..." - APN President and CEO Debra DeLee

Israeli settlement builders
Courtesy: boston.com

(WASHINGTON DC) - Americans for Peace Now (APN) joins its Israeli sister organization, Peace Now, in its strong opposition to a Knesset Bill that seeks to circumvent Israel’s Supreme Court and retroactively “legalize” West Bank settlements built illegally on land privately owned by Palestinians. APN joins Peace Now in strongly condemning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s stated intention to allow the construction of ten buildings in settlements for every illegally-constructed building that the government will tear down.

Netanyahu’s comment yesterday, and a right-wing Knesset initiative to vote on the so-called “Regulatory Bill,” come in the context of a Supreme Court order to the Netanyahu government to remove five apartment buildings constructed illegally on privately-owned Palestinian land in the settlement of Beit-El, near the West Bank town of Ramallah.

Commenting on the developments, APN’s President and CEO Debra DeLee said: “Last week, Netanyahu correctly stated that Israel needs a peace agreement in order to prevent the creation of a bi-national state, while re-committing to the two-state solution. This week, yet again, Netanyahu shows that he is not serious about peace. More settlement construction makes a two-state solution more difficult to achieve, and brings Israel closer to a bi-national reality.”

“If Netanyahu really wants to prevent Israel from becoming a bi-national state, if he really wants to secure it as both a democracy and a Jewish state, he must face up to the settlers and their Knesset lobby, block legislation initiatives that mock Israel’s rule of law, and not sacrifice Israel’s future in favor of the settlements.”

For background on the illegal construction in the settlement of Beit-El: http://peacenow.org/entries/rule_of_law_wins_for_now_in_the_case_of_another_outpost_ulpana

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