Statement by the Federal Foreign Office on the amendments to Israel’s Disengagement Law
Israel has decided to partially reverse the 2005 decision concerning disengagement from four settlements in the northern West Bank. The German Government is very concerned about this. The Disengagement Law was passed in 2005 to mandate disengagement from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank. The amendment that has now been passed revokes those articles which prohibited Israeli settlers from accessing four evacuated settlements (Ganim, Kadim, Sa-Nur and Homesh).
It represents a dangerous step towards possible renewed settlement activities, which threatens to further aggravate the already tense security situation in the West Bank. The decision runs contrary to the intention of the agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, reached only last Sunday, namely to refrain from unilateral steps for a period of four to six months. Furthermore, the Disengagement Law was part of a larger internationally negotiated and guaranteed disengagement from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank. Honouring pledges that have been made is, among other things, a matter of contractual reliability.
The German Government’s position on the construction of Israeli settlements remains unchanged. They are illegal under international law and jeopardise future mutually agreed negotiations for peace and a life in security and dignity for both Israelis and Palestinians in the region.