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Middle EastNews

Israel’s New Law Will Prevent Palestinian Citizens From Living in “Jewish Areas”

“This arrangement is, principally, a tool for screening out Palestinian citizens and preventing their residence in these communities.”

“This arrangement is, principally, a tool for screening out Palestinian citizens and preventing their residence in these communities.”

The Israeli government is currently advancing legislation to “Judaize” the Galilee region, as part of a deal cemented by far-right politicians Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir. Both have called to expand Jewish settlements in the area, a region historically and currently home to a large Palestinian population.

Prime Minister Netanyahu is currently planning to strengthen a 2011 law that allows small communities to ban prospective newcomers from settling, in an effort to “save Jewish settlement in the Galilee”.

This law, which gives these small Jewish communities almost complete power over to choose who moves into the area, is dangerously worrying – and is just another example of Israel’s apartheid.

Suhad Bishara, from the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, explains: “This arrangement is, principally, a tool for screening out Palestinian citizens and preventing their residence in these communities and constitutes a legal mechanism for residential segregation”.

“If passed, this will lead to the deepening of the mechanism of de facto annexation of occupied territories and could be considered part of a de jure annexation process, in absolute contravention of the laws of occupation”, she expanded. “This is a blatant violation of international humanitarian law and human rights law, which apply to the West Bank, as an occupied territory.”

Earlier in June, Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin stated that Jewish people were being forced out of the area because Palestinian citizens were purchasing homes in the region. “Arabs buy apartments in Jewish communities in the Galilee”, he stated, “and this causes Jews to leave these cities because they are not ready to live with Arabs.”

While the law, at least officially, does not allow acceptance committees to reject potential newcomers based on race, religion, gender, nationality, or party political affiliation, the wording of this controversial 2011 law allows the committees to reject people who may be “inappropriate for the social and cultural fabric” of the community.

With this new law expected to expand into the occupied West Bank as well – including areas where Israel has illegally settled and annexed – it remains to be seen how far Netanyahu’s far-right government will go in occupying Palestine.

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