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Israeli draft law legalises Jewish settlements in West Bank

Political groups which form Israel's coalition proposed a new bill to retroactively legalise illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, Quds Press reported yesterday.

Reporting the Israeli TV Channel 7, Quds Press said that a number of members of the ruling coalition, including Likud's David Bitan and Jewish Home's Betzalel Smotrich, proposed the bill to be discussed on Sunday.

The bill called for retroactively legalising the settlement of Amona by allowing the Israeli government to pay Palestinian landowners large sums of money and give them new property in exchange for their land.

In addition, the Israeli channel said, the bill aims to resolve the problems of the settlements which were built "with good intention" by settlers without prior planning or those permitted by the government without knowing that the lands were private property or were not sold or conceded by their Palestinian owners.

The Israeli Supreme Court came under pressure after it ruled that Amona should be evacuated. The evacuation was deferred or seven months until resettlement issues could be ironed out.

According to Times of Israel, Amona is the largest of about 100 West Bank outposts built without permission but generally tolerated by the government. These are in addition to the 120 government approved settlements.

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IsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine
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