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Netanyahu Presses Ahead With Controversial “Settlement Regulation Bill”

Israel’s Parliament is expected to pass a controversial bill that some say could lead to a case against Israel in the International Court of Justice at the Hague. The settlement regulation bill retroactively legalizes close to 4000 homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank that are built on private Palestinian land. The bill would provide financial compensation for the Palestinian landowners. In the past Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had opposed the bill, came out publicly in its favor. “The law is designed to normalize the status of settlements in Judea and Samaria once and for all and to prevent recurrent attempts to harm the settlement enterprise.” According to Peace Now, which opposes settlement construction, almost 800 illegal structures would be affected in 55 settlemetn outposts. The bill is part of an attempt by hardliners in the Israeli government to annex Area C, the 60 percent of the West Bank that is under full Israeli control. Israeli legal experts have warned that the legislation is problematic under Israeli law and could be struck down by the Israeli Supreme Court. It could also lead to a lawsuit against Israel in the International Court of Justice at the Hague.