Washington—Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on legislation advancing in the Knesset to legalize settlements constructed on private Palestinian land:
“I’m deeply concerned by legislation the Netanyahu government is considering that could retroactively legalize all settlements built on private Palestinian land in the West Bank. While this legislation appears to be in response to a court order to demolish the Amona settlement, it would in fact cover any settlement or illegal outpost constructed on private Palestinian land.
“There are nearly 400,000 settlers already living in 131 officially-recognized Israeli settlements and 97 illegal outposts in the West Bank. Enacting this legislation would fuel further expansion by encouraging the outright confiscation of private Palestinian land.
“I strongly believe the only way to preserve Israel as a Jewish, democratic state is the establishment of an independent Palestinian state by its side. I’m afraid any hope for two independent states would be lost if this legislation passes. My concerns are compounded by recent calls from some in the Netanyahu government to abandon the two-state solution completely. To preserve the possibility of peace, the Netanyahu government must reject this legislation that forever legalizes West Bank settlements and take steps to demonstrate its commitment to a two-state solution.”