Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Israeli MPs approve draft bill to legalise settlements

Israel's parliament has approved a draft bill that could legalise thousands of Jewish homes built on privately-owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, a measure that has drawn condemnation by left-wing MPs and Israel's closest ally, the United States.

The bill, which was passed on Wednesday by a vote of 58-50, would apply to more than 2,000 Jewish homes built illegally in the occupied West Bank.

The measure must now pass through three readings in parliament and also be ratified by the Supreme Court before it can become law.

Isaac Herzog, who heads the opposition Labour party, said the bill contravened Israeli and international law and justified "theft".

Washington also described the Israeli parliament's decision as "troubling", and said it could pave the way for the legalisation of dozens of outposts, built without Israeli government authorisation.


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