Outpost bill heading for final vote in the Knesset

ReutersIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem

Knesset member Shuli Muallem-Refaeli of the pro-settler Jewish Home party said Monday that the bill was "dedicated to the courageous people of Amona who were forced to go through what no Jewish family will have to again", The Times of Israel reported.

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

At the start of their meeting, May told Netanyahu that the British government is committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "Theresa May must seize this opportunity to press Prime Minister Netanyahu to heed worldwide concern over increased settlement activity, to ensure accountability in working towards a just peace for both Israelis and Palestinians".

Israel's attorney-general has said it is unconstitutional and that he will not defend it at the Supreme Court.

Human rights groups reacted with outrage.

The bill would legalise at least 3,921 Israeli settlement units in the occupied West Bank built in contravention of Israeli and global law, and would be the first time the Israeli government has applied civil law to land officially recognised as Palestinian-owned in the occupied West Bank, according to Amichai Cohen, an Israeli law professor who spoke to AFP.

The government's attorney general has said that the bill was unconstitutional and would contradict Israel's legal obligations under worldwide law, while Israeli MK Tzipi Livni warned that it would lead Israeli soldiers to the global Criminal Court (ICC).

He added that he had informed the White House of his intention of putting the legislation to a vote and said he will return from the United Kingdom on Monday night to participate.

First put forward by the Jewish Home party, the original proposal was meant to overturn a High Court of Justice verdict forbidding the expropriation of the privately owned Palestinian land on which Amona once stood.

The bill could still be challenged, with Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman saying last week: "The chance that it will be struck down by the Supreme Court is 100 percent".

MK Aida Touma-Suliman (Joint List), told Mondoweiss that she believes the bill, which she called "part of the crawling annexation" of Palestinian land will be passed. Warns Israel to Stop Announcing New West Bank Settlements.

However, Netanyahu may face little to no criticism from the White House, which has signalled a far softer approach to the settlement issue than that of the Obama administration. "I am not bothered by this", Netanyahu said.

The new Trump administration has taken a less hard-line stance on Israeli settlements than the previous administration, despite remarks from a White House official last week that building new or expanding existing settlements in the West Bank "may not be helpful" in securing peace.

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