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The Judea and Samaria Settlement Regulation Law (Hebrew: חוק להסדרת ההתיישבות ביהודה והשומרון‎), commonly known as the Regulation Law (Hebrew: חוק ההסדרה‎) or sometimes the Regularization Law, is an Israeli law that aims to retroactively legalize Israeli settlements in the West Bank Area C under the Oslo Accords. It is meant to "regulate" the status of about 2,000[1] to 4,000[2] residences in 16 settlements[3] which were built on Palestinian-owned lands. The Knesset passed the legislation 60 to 52, on February 6, 2017.[4][5] According to the law, the land on which the residences are built will remain that of the legal owners, but their usage will be expropriated by the State. In exchange, the Palestinian owners will be compensated at a rate of 125%, or receive alternate lands (whenever possible).[6] The law is known by some of its critics as the "Expropriation Law" (Hebrew: חוק ההפקעה‎) due to its land expropriation components.[7] The Israeli occupation of the West Bank is considered a breach of international law,[8] though Israel disputes this.[9]


During the last decade of the 20th century and at the beginning of the 21st century, a number of outposts as well as neighborhoods in established settlements, were built in areas that are listed in the Judea and Samaria land registration as lands privately owned by Palestinians. At the beginning of the 21st century, several of these Palestinian owners petitioned the Supreme Court of Israel, claiming those residencies were built on their own private land.[10] In some of these instances, the Court acknowledged their property rights and directed to demolish houses, such as: at a neighborhood in Beit El, at the Amona outpost, nine houses in Ofra, and more. Great efforts by the government to prevent these demolitions resulted in some of the proceeding extending over the course of years, but did not end up halting the demolitions. To prevent this from reoccurring, MPs of parties from the right drafted legislation that would prevent such judicial rulings of demolition of houses in the settlements of Judea and Samaria.[11]

Supreme Court challenge

On February 8, 2017 the law was brought before the Supreme Court of Israel by 17 Palestinian local governments and three human rights organizations.[12] Attorney General of Israel Avichai Mandelblit has announced that he will not be defending the law on behalf of the government at the Supreme Court because he deems it unconstitutional, and that it may lead to a suit against Israel at the International Criminal Court.[13] Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, whose party The Jewish Home was behind the legislation, responded by saying that the State plans to hire a private lawyer to represent it.[14]

International reactions

Speaking for the Palestinian National Authority, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has termed the law "an aggression against our people".[15] The law has also been criticized internationally, including by allies of Israel.[16] UN envoy for the Middle East peace process Nickolay Mladenov said the law "crosses a very thick red line." EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini stated that: "The European Union condemns the recent adoption of the 'Regularisation Law,'" adding that it "crosses a new and dangerous threshold by legalizing under Israeli law the seizure of Palestinian property rights."[17] Tobias Ellwood UK Minister for the Middle East and Africa had said that: "As a longstanding friend of Israel, I condemn the passing of the Land Regularisation Bill by the Knesset, which damages Israel’s standing with its international partners."[18] The German Foreign Ministry stated that its "trust in the Israeli government’s commitment to the two-state solution” had been "fundamentally shaken". As well, French Ambassador to Israel, Hélène Le Gal, said that the law brought Israel to "a path which is not leading to peace".[19]

See also


  1. ^ "A Study Shown To Politicians from the Right: 2,026 Houses in the Settlements are built on Private Palestinian Land (Hebrew)". Haaretz. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Knesset Passes Historic Law Legalizing 4,000 Settler Homes". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Israel Passes Provocative Law to Retroactively Legalize Settlements". New York Times. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  4. ^ "Regulation Bill passes 2nd and 3rd Knesset readings". Knesset website (Hebrew). Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Regulation Bill passes 2nd and 3rd Knesset readings". Ynetnews. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  6. ^ "What is, in fact, the Regulation Law? (Hebrew)". Mako. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  7. ^ "Following the Wave of Construction in the Settlements and due to the Expropriation Law, the EU has Postponed the Summit with Israel (Hebrew)". Haaretz. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention: Declaration"[permanent dead link] Foundation for Middle East Peace.
  9. ^ 'Letter dated 29 January 2004 from the Deputy Director General and Legal Advisor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the Written Statement of the Government of Israel' Archived 5 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine. (PDF) . Retrieved on 2012-01-15.
  10. ^ "The Israeli Supreme Court on Military Demolition of Palestinian Homes". VERSA: Opinions of the Supreme Court of Israel. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  11. ^ "Israeli Law Makers Both Praise and Slam New Law". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  12. ^ "Israel Supreme Court petitioned to strike down settler law". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  13. ^ "Attorney General to Netanyahu: I will not Defend the Regulation Law before the Supreme Court (Hebrew)". Ynet. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Israeli groups sue to stop settlement legalization law". Spokesman. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  15. ^ "Israel passes controversial law on West Bank settlements". BBC News. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  16. ^ "Israeli Allies Criticize the Retroactive Legalization of Thousands of West Bank Settlements". TIME. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  17. ^ "US Jewish groups, UK, Arab League, Turkey, Jordan express concern over bill, US govt. refuses to comment". i24. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  18. ^ "Britain joins international condemnation of Israel's settlement law". The Telegraph. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  19. ^ "Germany makes rare criticism of Israel over West Bank outposts vote". DAWN. Retrieved 7 February 2017.

External links