Middle East

Israel passes law legalizing thousands of West Bank settlement homes

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January.  (Ronen Zvulun/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Israel's parliament has passed a contentious law meant to retroactively legalize thousands of West Bank settlement homes.

The law passed 60-52 in a late-night vote Monday. The law is expected to be challenged in Israel's Supreme Court and is likely to face legal hurdles.

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The law retroactively legalizes several thousand homes built illegally on private Palestinian land. The original landowners would be compensated either with money or alternative land, even if they do not agree to give up their property.

The international community overwhelmingly opposes settlements and sees them as an obstacle to peace.

The law is part of a series of pro-settlement steps taken in recent weeks by Israel's hard-line government, which has been emboldened by the election of U.S. President Donald Trump.