Israel votes to retroactively legalize settlements in Palestinian West Bank


USCPR Executive Director Yousef Munayyer speaks to Larry Mantle of AirTalk on NPR affiliate KPCC 89.3FM

The Israeli parliament gave initial approval to a bill that would legalize settler homes in the occupied West Bank.

Four thousand settlements, formerly deemed illegitimate, would be retroactively legalized under the proposed law. The controversial move, described by critics as a “land grab,”  drew condemnation from United Nations and the US Secretary of State John Kerry. Criticism also echoed within Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s own coalition. Historically, the region has been fraught with tensions that rise and fall. Israel captured the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East war. Since then, it has built about 120 settlements, which the international community has deemed illegal and a challenge to a peace agreement with the Palestinians. This current bill, if passed, would inevitably become a point of contention between Israel and Palestine going forward.

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