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February 7, 2017 12:09 pm

In Historic Move, Israel Votes to Retroactively Legalize West Bank Settlement Outposts

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A young woman is arrested and carried by police during the evacuation of the Amona outpost Feb. 1, 2017. Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90.

A young woman being arrested during the evacuation of the Amona outpost Feb. 1, 2017. Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90. – In an historic and controversial move, the Knesset voted 60-52 Monday evening to legalize some 4,000 settlement outposts in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

“Our determination paid off,” said Education Minister Naftali Bennett, whose party led the drive for the legislation.

“To our friends in the opposition who are surprised that a nationalist government would pass a bill in favor of the settlements — that’s democracy,” he added.

The bill, which retroactively legalizes settlement outposts that sit on private Palestinian land and offers compensation to the landowners, has been heavily criticized by Left-wing lawmakers in Israel and the international community.

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Known as the “Regulation Bill,” the legislation overturns nearly 40 years of Israeli judicial rulings against the construction of homes on private Palestinian land.

“This legislation is de facto annexation. Our opposition to the law stems from our opposition to annexation…We have just a few more minutes to stop this terrible train before it leaves here and stops at The Hague,” opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog said, referring to the home of the International Criminal Court.

“This vote is not about whether we are with or against the settlers. It’s about what the state of Israel needs,”  he added. “This government is passing a bill that is an acute danger to the state of Israel.”

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