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Israel votes to retroactively legalize settlements in Palestinian West Bank




A graffiti made by the graffiti artist Banksy is seen on Israel's highly controversial West Bank barrier in Abu Dis on August 6, 2005.
A graffiti made by the graffiti artist Banksy is seen on Israel's highly controversial West Bank barrier in Abu Dis on August 6, 2005.
Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images

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The Israeli parliament gave initial approval to a bill that would legalize settler homes in the occupied West Bank.

Four thousand settlements, formerly deemed illegitimate, would be retroactively legalized under the proposed law. The controversial move, described by critics as a “land grab,"  drew condemnation from United Nations and the US Secretary of State John Kerry. Criticism also echoed within Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s own coalition. Historically, the region has been fraught with tensions that rise and fall. Israel captured the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East war. Since then, it has built about 120 settlements, which the international community has deemed illegal and a challenge to a peace agreement with the Palestinians. This current bill, if passed, would inevitably become a point of contention between Israel and Palestine going forward.

Host Larry Mantle sits down with David Makovsky, Director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process at the Washington Institute, and Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, on the past, present, and future of West Bank and its impact on Israel-Palestine relations.

Guests:

Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights and policy analyst at the Arab Center Washington D.C.; he tweets from @YousefMunayyer

Noah Pollak, contributor at the Weekly Standard,  a conservative opinion magazine; He has been a director and spokesperson for the Emergency Committee for Israel