UN Condemns Israel’s Settlement Legalization Bill

New York, – The UN has voiced strong concerns after Israeli lawmakers gave the green light to a bill which would legalize West Bank settlements. The UN warned of “legal consequences” if the draft legislation becomes law.

The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov said that the so-called ‘legalization bill’ has the objective of protecting illegal settlements and outposts built on private Palestinian property in the West Bank. Some have pronounced it to be a step towards the annexation of the West Bank.

The coordinator urged Israeli legislators to reconsider adopting the bill, reminding that all settlement activities are illegal under international law. Mladenov also warned that the bill’s passage could diminish the chances of reaching a two-state peace solution.

“If adopted, it will have far-reaching legal consequences for Israel, across the occupied West Bank and will greatly diminish the prospect of Arab-Israeli peace,” he said.

The Israeli parliament (Knesset) voted 60-49, to pass a revised version of the Regulation Bill. The bill aims to legalize 55 settlements situated on privately-owned Palestinian land, according to Peace Now.

While the draft specifies that landowners are to be offered compensation, the passage of the bill was condemned at home and abroad.

The bill still needs to pass another three times in the Knesset and get the green light from the Supreme Court to retroactively legalize 4,000 settler homes in Area C of the West Bank, which has been under Israeli military rule since 1967.

Source: Qatar News Agency