Netanyahu Advances Settlement Legalization Bill

30 Jan
6:47 AM

The Israeli Prime Minister encourages the Knesset to issue a final vote on the ‘formalization bill’ as early as tomorrow.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked coalition chairperson David Biton (Likud) to present the “formalization bill” to the Knesset for a final vote, this week, Israeli media reports.

The bill must pass the Knesset Law and Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday, before the Knesset can initiate a second and final reading of the law. Consequently, the earliest the Knesset can consider the bill is Monday afternoon.

The Knesset initially approved the formalization bill at its first reading in November 2016. In essence, the legislation rewards Israelis who have illegally settled Palestinian land in occupied territory by retroactively granting them the rights to it. Palestinian victims of land confiscation are meant to accept financial compensation from the Jewish State.

If passed, about 4,000 settlements would be retroactively legalized under Israeli law.

International law indisputably defines Israeli settlements as illegal: resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly, as well as the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention and the International Court of Justice affirm this point.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the first to hear of the formalization bill’s advancement were residents of the West Bank settlement of Ofra. Last night on a visit there, Netanyahu’s Chief of Staff Yoav Horowitz said that the Prime Minister supports the bill’s immediate approval.

Netanyahu approved the construction of about 3,000 additional settlement units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem last week.

~ Alternative Information Center (AIC)

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