Israel votes to legalise settlements in Palestine
Around 800,000 illegal Israeli Jewish settlers live in the occupied West Bank
Israeli high-profile political supporters celebrated the vote by saying it opened the way to annexation of the occupied West Bank and the end of any prospect of a Palestinian state
Israeli Knesset voted on Monday to retroactively legalise thousands of illegal settlement units built on private Palestinian lands.
The measure, which passed in a stormy Knesset session on Monday evening, has been met with international condemnation, and has already strained relations within Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition.
It comes in sharp defiance of a call on Sunday by the US secretary of state, John Kerry, who urged Israel again to rein in the construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The bill passed its first reading by 60 votes to 49, and still has to pass a further three votes before becoming law.
During the debate, the opposition leader, Isaac Herzog, fiercely denounced the law by equating its adoption to “national suicide.”
While the bill seems likely to have support to pass its further readings, it appears inevitable that it will be challenged in court. However, court is governed by occupational plans in Israel.
Israeli critics and Palestinians have described the legislation as a “land grab” that would further distance prospects for a two-state solution to end the long Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Some high-profile political supporters, echoing that view, celebrated the vote by saying it opened the way to annexation of the occupied West Bank and the end of any prospect of a Palestinian state.
(Source / 06.12.2016)