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Saudi Arabia Rejects Israel’s Adoption of Controversial ‘Nation-State’ Law

Saudi Arabia Rejects Israel’s Adoption of Controversial ‘Nation-State’ Law

Friday, 20 July, 2018 - 16:45
Palestinian protesters wave their national flag near the Israel-Gaza border. (AFP)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Saudi Arabia condemned on Friday Israel’s approval of the "nation-state" law, said an official source from the Foreign Ministry according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The source added that the law violates international law and human rights, as well as obstructs international efforts aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

It called on the international community to assume its responsibilities and confront the decision and other Israeli attempts aimed at perpetuating discrimination against the Palestinian people, distorting their national identity and compromising their legitimate rights.

Ratified on Thursday, the new law declares that only Jews have the right of self-determination in the country. It stipulates that "Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it".

The bill also removes Arabic as an official language alongside Hebrew, downgrading it to a "special status" that enables its continued use in Israeli institutions.

Israel's Arab citizens number some 1.8 million, about 20 percent of the 9 million population.

Palestinian leaders condemned the move.

"No racist law will undermine the rights of our people. We are proud of being a strong nation deeply rooted in our homeland," Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said in a statement.

In Brussels, a spokeswoman for EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini expressed concern at the move and said it would complicate a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

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