Knesset passes historic bill to legalize settlements on Palestinian land

Pro-settlement groups, including parts of Israel's right-wing government, had sought to save it from demolition.

Not only has the United States traditionally viewed Israeli settlements as a barrier to peace; it has also deemed them to be illegal, a position most succinctly encapsulated by the State Department's legal adviser, who concluded in a 1978 letter to Congress that the establishment of Israeli settlements is "inconsistent with worldwide law".

A member of parliament in Netanyahu's own Likud party, Benny Begin, son of the former Prime Minister Menachem Begin, labeled it "the robbery bill".

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

However, such doubts were lifted when the premier told reporters accompanying him to London on Monday that the vote would go ahead after he had coordinated with the Trump administration.

If adopted, the proposal would be seen as another step towards at least partial annexation of the West Bank, a key demand for parts of Netanyahu's rightwing cabinet, including the hardline Jewish Home party.

Under the legislation, Palestinians will be compensated for their land loss through "an annual usage payment of 125 percent of the land's value as determined by an assessment committee for renewable periods of 20 years", Haaretz wrote.

Last week, the few hundred residents of the Amona outpost in the West Bank were evicted after the Supreme Court ruled their homes were built on private Palestinian land.

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 global law when the League of Nations adopted it in 1922.


Dan Meridor, former minister of Likud, the party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wrote an op-ed in Haaretz calling the law "evil and unsafe", and pointing out that Palestinian land ownership has never been regulated by parliament because "the Arabs of Judea and Samaria did not vote for the Knesset, and it has no authority to legislate for them".

Emboldened by the Trump administration, the Israeli government is expanding settlement construction at an alarming new rate.

Netanyahu had on Sunday tried to delay the review of the bill, while coordinating with Trump ahead of their February 15 meeting, Israeli media reported.

Before his departure Sunday evening, Netanyahu told reporters he is "not bothered" by rumors he's hearing on the "regulation law", legislation created to prevent further destruction of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria such as last week's forced evacuation of the hilltop community of Amona.

The issue of Israeli settlement building has been thrust into the foreground since the passage of a United Nations security council resolution in December, supported by the outgoing Obama administration, which condemned settlements as a "flagrant violation" of worldwide law and an obstacle to peace.

Dov Khenin of the Arab Joint List said the opposition would not cooperate with the bill's legislative process, accusing its proponents of acting counter to regulations.

Speaking before the vote, opposition leader Isaac Herzog slammed the bill and urged coalition MKs to "stop tonight's vote, which would be a disaster for the state".

Monday's contentious vote took place after Israel said it had started demolishing a small Jewish settlement deemed illegal by the Supreme Court because it was on private Palestinian land.

"They are passing a law that will endanger IDF soldiers, will endanger Israel's global standing, will endanger our being a state of law and order, because they have problems within the coalition", Lapid said.

Related News:

  • 'Sharkwater' documentary director Rob Stewart found dead

    Rob Stewart also directed and produced the 2012 documentary Revolution , which focused on other threats to the environment. Stewart's team is fundraising and looking for volunteers via Stewart's Twitter account to continue the search.
    Gavin McInnes speaking at NYU, protests underway

    Gavin McInnes speaking at NYU, protests underway

    NY police officers stepped in to form a barrier between the protesters and McInnes supporters. Once McInnes was in the building, protesters followed and chanted as he tried to speak.
    French parliament raided by investigators in Francois Fillon probe

    French parliament raided by investigators in Francois Fillon probe

    With the inquiry gathering pace, party officials began to wonder whether, and how, they might replace him. The poll was carried out online on Monday and Tuesday among 974 people. "I'm confident, I'm unperturbed".
  • New UN Report Chronicles Abuses Against Myanmar Rohingya

    One mother recounted how her five-year-old daughter was murdered while trying to protect her from rape. An estimated 69,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since the unrest began on October 9.

    Kate Middleton Would Have Better Valentine's Plans Than Everyone Else

    Instead, the Duchess will be heading to Cambridgeshire outside of London, England, to meet air cadets at an air force base. Heads Together is a charity which is backed by the royals and aims to promote mental well-being in young people .

    Volkswagen beats Toyota, taking first spot in sales

    U.S. rival General Motors reports its figures next week, but it is expected to lag behind both the Japanese and the German firms. What's more, VW CEO Matthias Mueller recently said the company would no longer make volume leadership one of its primary goals.
  • Trump adds Steve Bannon to national security team

    His expanded role in the White House was followed on Saturday by the hashtag, #StopPresidentBannon , trending on Twitter . John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, speaking on Sunday's Face the Nation .
    Predicted Liverpool Lineup vs Chelsea: Klopp to make late Mane decision

    Predicted Liverpool Lineup vs Chelsea: Klopp to make late Mane decision

    I mean, Tuesday January 31. "He is kind of an option for the Chelsea game. Even they left the Capital One Cup before we did.
    Ayew brothers help Ghana reach semis, Egypt edge Morocco

    Ayew brothers help Ghana reach semis, Egypt edge Morocco

    But instead it is Egypt who progress to the last four, their bid to win the title for a record eighth time still very much alive. They are the sons of Ghana football legend Abedi "Pele" Ayew , ranked among the greatest African footballers of all time.
  • Over 70 arrested at Dakota Access Pipeline protest site, camp cleared

    Over 70 arrested at Dakota Access Pipeline protest site, camp cleared

    The tribe is trying to steer protesters to a March 10 event called the Rise with Standing Rock Native Nations March on Washington. But earlier this week, acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer ordered the corps to allow the work to go ahead.
    Ulster County Building to Highlight 'National Wear Red Day'

    Ulster County Building to Highlight 'National Wear Red Day'

    Your youth also doesn't excuse you from more "traditional" heart issues like heart attacks , clogged arteries, and strokes. Volunteers knitted the red hats themselves and have delivered them to metropolitan hospitals for the babies to wear.
    Girl Scouts celebrate 100 years of cookie sales

    Girl Scouts celebrate 100 years of cookie sales

    For more information on where to buy cookies, visit the booth sale locator through the link included with this story on our website or download the Cookie Finder app on your mobile phone.


Most liked

Emergency in Chapel Hill: Don't drink the water
But the treatment plant's output required testing before the utility could safely advise customers to use their water again. MORE: No water at UNC, students respond on social mediaBusiness owners affected by the emergency were clearly frustrated.

USA officials delay interviews with asylum seekers in Australian camps, report says
Australia's offshore detention camps have often been criticized by the United Nations watchdogs for harsh conditions. Rintoul said protesters wanted refugees in offshore detention at Nauru and Manus Island to be brought to Australia.

Trump praises black icons: He does know Frederick Douglass is dead, right?
One such man was Frederick Douglass , the ex-slave turned abolitionist, author, suffragist, editor and diplomat. Douglass, who died in 1895, is getting a lot of attention and praise this week for doing an "amazing" job.

HBC reportedly makes takeover approach to Macy's; shares rise
Hudson's Bay Company is among the list of companies that Macy's Inc may be interested in selling itself to. Outgoing Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren is retiring from the top spot this year but will stay on as chairman.

Clarification requested on border tracking system in Trump immigration order
It was Kelly's first visit to the border since being tapped to lead one of the largest government agencies in the country. As for all the controversy and protest that has swirled around the construction of the wall, Kelly acknowledges, "Mr.

DeVos nomination in trouble as 2 senators announce dissent
According to The Hill , Murkowski spoke after Collins and said she too would be unable to vote for DeVos' confirmation. They also said they're concerned with DeVos' lack of knowledge about a 40-year-old law governing special education.

1M Brits ask government to cancel Trump state visit
This isn't the first time that Donald Trump's visitation rights have been debated in Parliament. It's not yet clear if climate change activist Prince Charles will meet with Donald Trump.

Kim Kardashian Stolen Jewelry Melted Down for Pennies
Kim Kardashian West also has yet to comment on the recently released confession of the robbery's mastermind. It detailed the events that took place on the day she was robbed inside her hotel room.

Trump Calls Top Senate Democrat's Emotional Response to Muslim Ban 'Fake Tears'
John McCain is exactly right. "The orders make us less humanitarian, less safe, less American", Schumer added. The White House began a damage control effort on Sunday evening that continued into Monday.

President Trump: America saddened by the loss of US commando in Yemen
It was unclear how many civilians might have been killed in the pre-dawn raid in the rural Bayda province of southwestern Yemen. Other sources spoke of United States commandos taking part in the operation, but it was not possible to verify the information.

AFCON 2017:Hector Cuper has managed to correct previous mistakes-Wael Gomaa
Cuper said: " Mohsen looks to have a serious problem with a knee but we will need to carry out more detailed tests ". We saw how both teams missed scoring chances.

51 soldiers feared killed in Al-Shabaab attack on Kenyan military base
Security Council to authorize a six-month "surge" of 4,500 troops to expand offensive operations. Kenya said nine of its personnel were killed when Al-Shabaab overran the camp on Friday.

Paula Patton Alleges Abuse, Cheating by Robin Thicke
The order restricts Thicke's ability to travel outside Los Angeles County with his son. The Give It 2 U singer returns to court for a hearing on February 24.

Over 82000 gamers have played Resident Evil 7 in VR
Other stats that reveal larger story spoilers are hidden behind a lock-screen that can be unlocked when you complete the game. But it's certainly not enough to spoil what is an otherwise stellar survival horror game that's dripping with atmosphere.

John Hurt, 'Alien' and 'The Elephant Man' Star, Dies At 77
The formidable and distinguished actor had battled pancreatic cancer in 2015 and passed away on Wednesday at his home in Norfolk. Hurt was born in 1940, in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England and studied acting at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.