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US condemns proposed Israeli settlement law

Image showing construction work to expand the Israeli settlement in Jerusalem [Mahfouz Abu Turk / ApaImages]
Construction work to expand the Israeli settlement in Jerusalem [Mahfouz Abu Turk / ApaImages]

The US State Department has condemned a proposed new law advanced by Israeli ministers on Sunday that would retroactively legalise settlement outposts on privately-owned Palestinian land.

During yesterday press briefing, State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau said the Obama administration is "deeply concerned about the advancement of legislation that would allow for the legalisation of illegal Israeli outposts located on private Palestinian land."

Should the law be enacted, Trudeau continued, "it could pave the way for the legalisation of dozens of illegal outposts deep in the West Bank", representing "an unprecedented and troubling step."

Trudeau reiterated US policy on settlements, describing them as "corrosive to the cause of peace", and noted that the legislation "would be a dramatic advancement of the settlement enterprise, which is already gravely endangering the prospects for a two-state solution."

"This only makes the clearer the choice Israel faces between building more settlements and preserving the possibility of peace", she added.

Trudeau refused to be drawn on what measures the US would take should the bill become law, describing the question as "hypothetical".

Asia & AmericasIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineUS
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