Israeli Govt. Annuls Sentences Brought Against Settlers Who Refused to Leave Gaza

January 27, 2010 3:44 AM Saed Bannoura Feature, Israel, Israeli Politics 0
27 Jan
3:44 AM

On Monday, the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) overruled the country’s court system by enacting legislation that overturns the sentences for Israeli settlers who refused to move from their homes built on stolen Palestinian land during Israel’s 2005 ‘disengagement’ with Gaza.

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On Monday, the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) overruled the country’s court system by enacting legislation that overturns the sentences for Israeli settlers who refused to move from their homes built on stolen Palestinian land during Israel’s 2005 ‘disengagement’ with Gaza.

During the so-called ‘disengagement’ plan, Israel paid 5,000 Israeli settlers living in Gaza large amounts of money to move into Israel or into other settlements in the West Bank. Some settlers refused to leave the occupied land, leading to arrests by Israeli police and charges brought by the Israeli prosecution.

The new Knesset bill will annul the charges of any Israeli convicted in relation to the incident. It was passed by a wide majority of 51 to 9, with only opposition members voting against it.

Speaker of the Knesset, Reuven Rivlin, told reporters on Monday,

‘The disengagement was a national trauma and cannot be compared to any other social crisis. I believe that the bill’s approval will help mend the rift within Israeli society and correct the injustice suffered by the evacuees who paid the heaviest price for democracy.’

All Israeli settlements on Palestinian land are illegal under international law, and while many Israelis claim that the moving of 5,000 settlers from the Gaza Strip caused a huge rift in Israeli society, the move was necessary for compliance with the law. Many settlers who had colonized the Gaza Strip were then moved into new settlements in the West Bank, thereby nullifying any compliance that may have been achieved by moving out of Gaza.

Israeli forces then bombed and demolished all of the buildings of the Gaza settlements, rendering them as toxic dumps where the residents of Gaza are afraid to go due to the potential health risks of exposure to asbestos and other chemicals.

Although both the international community and the United Nations have condemned Israel for its settlement of civilians on occupied territories, no international body has attempted to enforce the rulings.

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Saed Bannoura

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