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Israel's controversial settlement bill provokes Palestinian blitz

Palestinians believe that the Israeli regularization bill, designed to authorize settlements built on Palestinian lands, serves as a "smoking gun," proving that Israel is not interested in negotiations.
Israeli soldiers take position during a protest against Jewish settlements in Jordan Valley near the West Bank city of Jericho November 17, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman   - RTX2U5RA

No one in the office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was surprised by the Knesset’s Dec. 5 preliminary approval of the proposed legislation known as the regularization bill, legalizing wildcat West Bank settlements — which would allow Israel to take control of private Palestinian lands.

For many months the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been closely following the convoluted progress of the proposed bill in its various incarnations, and while publicly condemning it, they understood that if OK'd by Israeli lawmakers, the “parody bill” — as they’ve dubbed it — has an upside.

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