JVP Statement on Passage of "Outpost Legalization" Bill

The law, approved by 60 members of parliament to 52 against, passed its third and final reading after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had updated the USA administration on the issue.

Britain has long opposed the policy of settlement building on occupied Palestinian land, believing it to be a barrier to peace.

Condemned by the Barack Obama administration, the European Union, the United Nations and Israel's attorney general, the law was hailed by the settler movement as a turning point in the 50-year settlement project. "By giving a green light to settlers to build illegally on private Palestinian land, the legalization law is another step towards annexation and away from a two-state solution". Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, a member of the Jewish Home party that is pushing to hold the vote, said the state would hire outside attorneys to defend the law if necessary.

B'Tselem, a watchdog monitoring human rights abuses in the settlements, slammed the bill.

Israel's attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, has said the bill violates local and global law and would likely be overturned by the Supreme Court.

The bill would legalise at least 3,921 Israeli settlement units in the occupied West Bank built in contravention of Israeli and global law, and would be the first time the Israeli government has applied civil law to land officially recognised as Palestinian-owned in the occupied West Bank, according to Amichai Cohen, an Israeli law professor who spoke to AFP.

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Al Jazeera's Imran Khan, reporting from West Jerusalem, said: "Palestinians are simply being forced to do this".

Knesset member Shuli Muallem-Refaeli of the pro-settler Jewish Home party said Monday that the bill was "dedicated to the fearless people of Amona who were forced to go through what no Jewish family will have to again", The Times of Israel reported.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supports the measure.

Though passed, the bill could still be challenged.

Our correspondent said that the Palestinian land owners could take their case to the Supreme Court as early as Tuesday.

The Balfour Declaration, which declared "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people" on November 2, 1917, officially became part of worldwide law when the League of Nations adopted it in 1922.

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Thousands of Israelis live in the unauthorized enclaves.

William Bell, Christian Aid's Advocacy Officer for the Middle East said: "Growth in illegal settlements is at record levels so these talks are timely and of utmost importance".

If adopted into law, it will have far reaching legal consequences for Israel and greatly diminish the prospects for Arab-Israeli peace. Warns Israel to Stop Announcing New West Bank Settlements.

And after Israel's first announcement of settlement expansion elicited no comment from the Trump White House, Netanyahu appeared vindicated in his views.

"The law passed by the Knesset today proves yet again that Israel has no intention of ending its control over the Palestinians or its theft of their land", the group said in a statement.

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