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France says Israeli bill on settlements a risk to two-state solution

Reuters , Tuesday 15 Nov 2016
Palestine
Palestinian scouts take part in a march marking the Palestinian national day of independence, at the entrance of the Old City of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, on November 15, 2016. (AFP PHOTO)
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France said on Tuesday an Israeli bill supported by a ministerial committee allowing settlers in the occupied West Bank to remain in homes built on private Palestinian land was of a matter of deep concern and jeopardized a two-state solution.

"This proposed law, if it were adopted, would once again jeopardize a two-state solution and would contribute in worsening tensions on the ground. France is deeply concerned by it," Foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said in a daily briefing.

The ministerial committee defied Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and voted on Sunday to back the bill, which will be debated by parliament on Wednesday and is still some distance from becoming law.

Israel's attorney-general, Avihai Mandelblit, has called the bill legally flawed in its current form, saying that it contravened private property rights legislation and did not tally with Israel's international law commitments.

"Settlements, under all its forms, are illegal with respect to international law. We call on Israel to respect its international obligations," Nadal said.

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