A Federal Foreign Office spokesperson issued the following statement in Berlin today (7 February) on the adoption of the bill on the retroactive legalisation of outposts:
The purpose of the bill passed by the Knesset yesterday is to retroactively legalise the numerous outposts on private Palestinian land in the occupied territories which were hitherto regarded as illegal even by Israel.
Many people in Germany who stand firmly by Israel’s side in a spirit of heartfelt solidarity are disappointed by this turn of events.
The confidence we had in the Israeli Government’s commitment to the two-state solution has been profoundly shaken.
Only a negotiated two-state solution can bring durable peace and is in Israel’s interest. It remains a fundamental tenet of our Middle East policy.
In view of the many reservations which the Israeli Attorney General, among others, has affirmed once more, it would be good if the bill could soon undergo a critical legal review.
We hope and expect that the Israeli Government will renew its commitment to a negotiated two-state solution and underpin this with practical steps, as called for by the Middle East Quartet. Following the disconcerting comments by individual members of the Israeli Government, who have openly called for the annexation of parts of the West Bank and are preparing bills to this end, this is now a question of credibility.