Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded on Wednesday to the Knesset meeting in which a bill aimed at legalizing homes on the Ulpana Hill neighborhood in the West Bank settlement of Beit El - which were built on privately owned Palestinian land – was voted down.
In a preliminary reading, 69 Knesset members voted against the bill; 22 supported it.
Speaking at a press conference, Netanyahu criticized organizations that had petitioned Israel’s High Court over the matter, stating that “those who think they use the legal system to harm the settlements are mistaken, since the opposite is actually taking place.”
Netanyahu stated that the decision to relocate the neighborhood, which was illegally built on Palestinian land, was not an easy one, adding that the plan to expand Beit El would strengthen the settlement movement.
“Relocating houses is not a step that the government is happy to take,” Netanyahu told reporters, saying that “the court has ordered their relocation and we respect its decisions.”
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