UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

The top United Nations Middle East envoy today expressed concern about the scheduled vote by the Knesset, Israel’s legislative body, on a bill that would “legalize” Israeli settlements on privately-owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.

“I am concerned by the scheduled vote on the so-called ‘Regularisation Bill’ as it would enable the continued use of privately-owned Palestinian land for Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank,” said the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, in a statement.

“If adopted into law, it will have far reaching legal consequences for Israel and greatly diminish the prospects for Arab-Israeli peace,” Mr. Mladenov added, noting that the bill has been deemed unconstitutional by the Attorney General of Israel and is in contravention of international law.

“I urge Israeli legislators to reconsider this move,” he stated, stressing that all core issues should be resolved between the parties through direct negotiations on the basis of relevant Security Council resolutions and mutual agreements

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