EU Foreign Policy Chief: Israel's Land-grab Law Entrenches One-state Reality of Unequal Rights

Federica Mogherini says the so-called 'Regularization Law' is contrary to previous commitments by Israeli governments and illegal under international law.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Jerusalem.
Amos Ben Gershom / GPO

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Tuesday strongly condemned Israel's so-called "Regularization Law," which retroactively legalizes the expropriation of privately owned Palestinian land.

Mogherini said the law "crosses a new and dangerous threshold by legalizing under Israeli law the seizure of Palestinian property rights and effectively authorising the confiscation of privately owned Palestinian land in occupied territory."

Mogherini continued that "the law may provide for 'legalizing' numerous settlements and outposts previously considered as illegal even under Israeli law, which would be contrary to previous commitments by Israeli governments and illegal under international law."

"Should it be implemented, the law would further entrench a one-state reality of unequal rights, perpetual occupation and conflict," Mogherini added."The EU urges the Israeli leadership to refrain from implementing the law and to avoid measures that further raise tensions and endanger the prospects for a peaceful solution to the conflict."

European diplomats told Haaretz earlier on Tuesday that a summit between Israel and the European Union scheduled for February 28 had been postponed following the passage of the controversial law. The diplomats said that during Monday's meeting of the EU’s foreign ministers, several states voiced their opposition to holding the summit. The meeting was meant to mark the tightened cooperation between Israel and the EU and to set out a work plan and priorities for improving relations between the sides.

Mogherini's remarks follow condemnation from Turkey, Jordan and UN Secretary General Antonio GuterresFrance called on Israel to "take back" the law "to honor its international commitments" and Britain said the law "damages Israel’s standing with its international partners" and threatens "the viability of the two-state solution."

The new law provides a mechanism for compensating Palestinians whose lands will be seized. A landowner can receive an annual usage payment of 125 percent of the land’s value as determined by an assessment committee for renewable periods of 20 years, or an alternate plot of land if this is possible, whichever he chooses.