Egypt condemns Israeli bill that could approve settlements
Egypt has condemned an Israeli bill that, if adopted, would legalise settlements built without government permission in the West Bank - territory Palestinians claim as part of their future state.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid expressed Egypt's "deep concern" yesterday over the bill, which needs to pass several stages to be adopted.
It was promoted by the pro-settler Jewish Home party, in part to stop the evacuation of Amona, an outpost that Israel's Supreme Court ruled was built on private Palestinian land and ordered demolished by December 25. Amona's fate could destabilise Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hard-line coalition.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 war and built settlements there soon after. The international community widely views Israeli construction there as obstacles to Palestinian statehood.