Israeli lawmakers both praise and slam settlement law

Right-wing lawmakers call praise the settlement legislation while left-wing MKs slam the bill.

February 7, 2017 00:56
2 minute read.

Knesset passes settlement bill on February 6, 2017 (credit: REUTERS)

Knesset passes settlement bill on February 6, 2017 (credit: REUTERS)


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Right-wing Knesset members praised the plenums' final approval of the "settlement bill" – that became the Settlement Law – and would retroactively legalize some 4,000 settler homes on private Palestinian land and offers to compensate its owners.

"A big thing happened in Israel tonight," said MK Moti Yogev (Bayit Yehudi). "The Knesset approved the 'Settlements Bill' of Judaea and Samaria and of the land of Israel." Yogev addressed those who already announced that they would file a petition to the Supreme Court to overrule the new law.

"It will not help the minority elite dictatorship of the Supreme Court. Even if you try cancel the law, most of the people Israel have chosen the representatives that legislated it and wanted to regulate the settlements activity." Yogev concluded by saying, "The people of Israel are wise, they ask to empower settlements all over Israel – in the Galilee, the Negev and in Judaea and Samaria – and we will keep on doing so."

Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan echoed Yogev's comments and said the law is the first step toward a full-measure annexation of the West Bank. "Today we made history," he said. "The government of Israel accepted its full responsibility over the settlements in Judaea and Samaria."

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said that passing the bill is fixing a long-time injustice toward the settlers. "Tonight we claimed our control again by approving 'settlement bill,'" he said. "Those settlers in Judea and Samaria that were sent by past governments to live there have suffered from a great deal of injustice over a long period of time. Tonight we made sure to fix it and regulated their status – once and for all."

Meanwhile, opposition MKs blamed the coalition for passing the controversial bill which is according to them a partial and hesitated step toward the annexation of the territories. "The Right, led by Netanyahu, keeps lying to itself and to the citizens of Israel," said MK Hilik Bar (Zionist Union). "They are acting irresponsibly, and it will end eventually again with a painful evacuation [of settlements]. It is about time that they decide what they want without lying to the people. Do they want a bi-national state or the two-state solution?" he added. "A true leader should say that enough is enough. But Netanyahu is busy proving who is more right-wing, and all of that is made on the back of the settlers and on the future of the State of Israel."

MK Erel Margalit (Zionist Union) claimed that Netanyahu's support for the bill derives from the investigations against him. "This is not the 'settlement bill' it is the 'investigation bill,'" he said. "His goal is to stir up the people masses while at the same time creating an international crisis to cover up his criminal entanglement. Right-wing voters should wake up: this is another political lie by Netanyahu. This bill will never be implemented," he added.

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