Israel’s Supreme Court strikes down law allowing expropriation of Palestinian land for settlement outposts

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Supreme Court struck down a 2017 law that would allow the expropriation of private Palestinian land on which illegal outpost homes were built.

The ruling issued Tuesday in an 8-1 decision said the law “infringes on property rights and equality for Palestinian residents, and places a preference for the interests of Israeli settlers over Palestinian residents,” according to The Times of Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu moving ahead with plans to annex areas of the West Bank could make moot a need for the law.

The Regulation Law, which has been frozen since it was passed due to legal challenges, said the appropriation was allowed if the outpost was built in good faith or with government support. It could have been used to legalize dozens of illegal outposts.

The Knesset passed the measure after Israel demolished homes or entire outposts built on lands that were later discovered to be privately owned by Palestinians.