Germany Expresses Concern Over Knesset’s Approval of Bill Enabling Return of IDPs to 4 Settlements

Germany expressed concern about the Israeli Knesset’s approval of a bill allowing the return of settlers to four settlements that were dismantled in 2005 in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The German Foreign Ministry said in a statement: “Israel has decided to partially reverse its 2005 decision to withdraw from four settlements in the northern West Bank. The German government is very concerned about this development.”

And she added: “The Disengagement Law, issued in 2005, was passed to confirm the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank. The approved amendment now repeals those articles that prohibited Israeli settlers from entering the four evacuated settlements (Janim, Kadim, Sanur) and Homesh).

“This amendment now represents a dangerous step towards a possible resumption of settlement activity. This threatens to further exacerbate the already tense security situation in the West Bank,” she added.

The “German Foreign Office” pointed out that “this decision is contrary to the intention expressed in the agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, which was announced only last Sunday, and provided for the cessation of any unilateral steps for a period of four to six months. In addition, the Disengagement Law was also “part of a larger, internationally agreed and secured process for the withdrawal of troops from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank. Keeping commitments already made is also a matter of contract reliability.”

The statement added that the German government’s position on Israeli settlement construction “remains unchanged: it is illegal under international law and jeopardizes future consensus negotiations aimed at achieving peace and life in security and dignity for both Israelis and Palestinians in region”.

Source: Palestinian News Agency (WAFA).

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