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Israel's Netanyahu Expresses Support for Settlement Bill Vote

Israel's Netanyahu Expresses Support for Settlement Bill Vote

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, February 5, 2017.

He said: "Earlier today, the Prime Minister had a meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. I am not bothered by this", Netanyahu said.

"I never said that I want to delay the vote on this law", Netanyahu said.

"We do not surprise our friends and we keep them updated", he said in a briefing with reporters.

For the first time last week Trump's administration said settlement expansion "may not be helpful" for peace prospects, but also broke with previous administrations by saying settlements were not an obstacle to peace.

The bill passed on a vote of 60 to 52. ADL leaders said it would harm Israel's image overseas and lead to legal repercussions.

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The Knesset can not pick and choose which parts of worldwide law it likes and which it does not regarding the West Bank, Deputy Attorney-General for global Affairs Roy Schondorf told the joint Knesset committees handling the Settlement Bill in a classified briefing last month, which was only declassified Monday.

The director of ADL's Israel office, Carole Nuriel, added that the measure "may also trigger severe global legal repercussions".

As if there were any doubt that Israel's ongoing expropriation of Palestinian land is created to fragment Palestinians into ever-shrinking enclaves to preclude the establishment of a viable state.

Up until now, Netanyahu had every reason to believe that his agenda to colonize Palestinian land would meet with unhesitating approval from the Trump administration, whose core team on Israel-senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, Trump's designee to lead global negotiations Jason Greenblatt, and Trump's nominee to be ambassador to Israel David Friedman-are all staunch backers of Israeli settlements.

Human rights groups and legal experts, however, warned that it would violate property rights.

One, B'Tselem, called the vote a "disgrace" and accused lawmakers of "lending a semblance of legality to this ongoing act of plunder". Netanyahu told May that he shares her desire for peace in the region, but avoided voicing an explicit support of the two-state solution. "By giving a green light to settlers to build illegally on private Palestinian land, the legalization law is another step towards annexation and away from a two-state solution". On Monday, the Israeli leader said he had informed the Trump White House that a vote on the legislation was imminent.

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