Egypt on Saturday said a new Israeli law giving Jews the exclusive right to self-determination in the country undermined the chances for peace in the Middle East and the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. "I think it's critical since without a constitution, courts often make decisions that hurt Israel's status as a Jewish state because all they have to go on is 'human rights, ' and at times, we have to ensure the Jewish character of the state".
Arab MPs reacted furiously in parliament, with one waving a black flag and others ripping up the bill.
The Irish lower house of Parliament is about to vote on a bill which would prohibit the import and sale of goods from illegally occupied settlements in the Palestinian territories.
The law had drawn criticism by a wide range of NGOs and rights groups as a racist bill that would divide the society. "We are proud of being a strong nation deeply rooted in our homeland", Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said in a statement.
"Palestine will remain Arab and it is a genuine right for its Arab people, with their different religion and sects", the statement said.
Israelis wave national flags outside the Old City's Damascus Gate, in Jerusalem. "The Jewish Nation- State Law reaffirms the fundamental principles of Zionism".
"We've been very clear when it comes to the two-state solution, we believe it is the only way forward and any step that would further complicate or prevent this solution of becoming a reality should be avoided", she said.
According to Netanyahu and his government's proposed law, Israel does not belong to Israeli citizens, more than 20 percent of whom are not Jewish.
It gives only Jews the right to self-determination, discriminating against one-fifth of the population that includes almost two million Arab Israelis and other minorities.
"The 'nation-state" bill is the exact definition of Apartheid... It would also prejudice the entire Israel against anyone who is not a Jew, he added. Hundreds of thousands were forced to leave their homes or fled. A Saudi foreign ministry official has called on the worldwide community to "confront such a law and or other Israeli attempts, aimed at perpetuating racial discrimination against the Palestinian people", SPA reported.
The bill, passed this Thursday, also erased Arabic as a national language in the Israel.
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