Despite an effort by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to prevent its passage, members of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation unanimously voted to approve the ‘Regulation Law’ on Sunday evening.
Passage of the bill in committee means the law now goes to the Knesset, where it still must pass three readings in order to make it into law.
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit has said there are legal problems with the law, which may be in conflict with international norms. He has told the committee he is not willing to defend the measure in Supreme Court on behalf of the government, should it be challenged.
The law calls for the government to financially compensate Palestinian Authority Arabs who claim private ownership of land on which Jewish towns have been built.
The law would retroactively legalize the status of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and would prevent the demolition of the town of Amona. It would also stop the destruction of nine homes in the town of Ofra.
The proposed bill was sponsored by Likud Knesset member Yoav Kish, along with two Bayit Yehudi Knesset members, Shuli Muaelem Refaeli and Bezalel Smotrich.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked praised the decision. This government will normalize the settlements in Judea and Samaria, even against efforts by the far-left to engage in ‘lawfare’. The way to influence [policy] on the settlement map of Judea and Samaria is through elections, not through the improper means utilize by these groups today,” she said.