Outpost bill heading for final vote in the Knesset

Ben Harris

(JTA) — A controversial bill that would legalize some settlements built on private Palestinian land is expected to be put to a final vote in the Israeli parliament.

The so-called outpost bill is due to be brought to a final vote in the Knesset on Monday evening, the Times of Israel reported.

Netanyahu, who was in London Monday for talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May, had reportedly sought to delay the vote. But coalition chairman David Bitan told the Times of Israel the vote would “definitely” take place on Monday.

The bill, which would legalize outposts unwittingly built on Palestinian land in the West Bank, has drawn sharp condemnation. Leaders of the Zionist Union and Yesh Atid, the second and fourth largest parties in the Knesset respectively, have both warned against its passage. The bill is supported by the pro-settlement Jewish Home party.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump, in his first statement on Israeli settlements since taking office, said construction of new settlements “may not be helpful” in reaching a peace agreement, though he denied that existing settlements are impediments to a deal.

Trump and Netanyahu are scheduled to meet in Washington on Feb. 15.