Israel is set to strike down the law in a landmark decision that could have a sweeping impact on the country’s judicial system.
The High Court ruled on Thursday that the new abortion law that took effect in March will be legal, paving the way for a full reversal of the controversial law in the country where women face restrictions on their right to abortion.
The court said the law should be declared unconstitutional, and the country should follow international conventions that define life, and it called on the Palestinian Authority to recognize it as a “national law.”
The ruling was a rare move in a country where the Israeli government has made clear that it does not want to compromise on its policy of controlling the movement of women in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The government is already seeking to change the law, but it is unlikely to face the court, which is set up to consider cases challenging the Israeli occupation.
In a ruling that will likely affect women who have obtained abortions, the court said Israel had a legitimate interest in imposing the new law because the state was making the “evacuation of the population from Gaza and the West bank” more difficult.
Israel was forced to evacuate 1.5 million people in the Gaza Strip last year as the Palestinian leadership sought to expand the Westbank into territory it considers part of its future state.
Israel, which captured the Westfield shopping mall from Gaza in a 2014 war, has faced international criticism for its use of force in the war.
“Israel is entitled to defend itself from foreign and domestic terrorism.
But it is also entitled to protect its citizens from violence, particularly by the occupation and by the terrorist organizations,” Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said in a statement after the ruling.
The decision came as Palestinians in the region have voiced their frustration with the lack of a response from the Israeli side over the implementation of the new laws.
“It’s a new day in the occupation, and I think we’re seeing an end to the occupation,” said Ali Abed al-Khudair, a Palestinian who works in the northern city of Nablus.
Abed al_Khudairs’ daughter, Fatima, is pregnant with his son, Abdulrahman, and said she is waiting to see the outcome of the ruling, which she said is “a big step.”
“I think it’s the beginning of a new beginning,” she said.
“The new days are starting.
I’m looking forward to seeing the result of the court’s ruling.”
Israel has rejected calls for the international community to intervene, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telling Reuters the country will “stand by the right to defend ourselves” and “do whatever we need to do to defend our right to life.”
“Israel has an absolute right to protect itself and its citizens, and we’ll defend that right,” he said.