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A worker stands in a construction site in the West bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017. The municipality of Jerusalem has granted final approval for the construction of hundreds of new homes in east Jerusalem, while a hard-line Cabinet minister pushed the government to annex Maaleh Adumim, a major West Bank settlement as emboldened Israeli nationalists welcomed the presidency of Donald Trump. The building plans were put on hold in the final months of President Barack Obama's administration. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Israel passed a law legalizing thousands of West Bank settlement homes on Palestinian land


Israel's Parliment passed legislation Monday that's meant to retroactively legalize the approximately 3,000 West Bank settlement homes that were built on private Palestinian land. 

The move is expected to trigger international outrage and will likely be challenged in Israel's Supreme Court. 

Critics of the new law say it essentially makes it legal to steal Palestinian land. According to the law,  it would offer Palestinians compensation in the form of money or alternative land. 

The law passed 60-52 after a fierce parliamentary debate in which lawmakers reportedly shouted at one another from their seats. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu previously expressed concerns about the legislation, saying he wanted to speak with the Trump administration before the vote. 

President Donald Trump has been seen as more sympathetic toward Israel's policies on building homes on Palestinian land than Obama was. 

The White House referred to a previous statement when responding to Israel's new law on Monday. In the previous statement, the White House said building new settlements "may not be helpful" in achieving peace between Israel and Palestine. 

Palestinians condemned the law, with the spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas saying it would "only lead to more instability and chaos." 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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