Europe

Norway, Sweden express concern over Israeli settlement bill

Norway and Sweden have expressed concern over a planned Israeli bill that would allow expanded construction in major West Bank settlements.

Marit Berger Roesland of the Norwegian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday that the proposed law "cast doubts about Israel's declared support for the two-state solution."

The contentious bill that Israel's parliament backed this week would retroactively legalize hundreds of homes in West Bank settlements that sit on private Palestinian land.

Another Scandinavian country, Sweden — whose relations with Israel have been strained since it recognized Palestinian statehood in 2014 — has also said it is "deeply concerned" about the bill. Sweden said Friday that such settlements are contrary to "Israeli and international law," and "greatly undermine" the possibility of a two-state solution.