The proposal was backed in the Knesset on Wednesday, with 58 MPs voting in favor of the bill and 50 against it, AFP reported. To become law, the proposal must pass three more votes in parliament.
Yet, the initial backing has risen concerns in the West, as the vote marks a victory for the powerful pro-settlement movement in PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition despite international community largely opposing the settlements.
“This would represent an unprecedented and troubling step that’s inconsistent with prior Israeli legal opinion and also break longstanding Israeli policy of not building on private Palestinian land,” AFP cited US State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau as saying.
Netanyahu initially opposed the legislation, but voted in its favor on Wednesday.