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Sweden deeply concerned over Israel's settlement bill

Palestinians and Israeli activists run away from a tear gas fired by Israeli soldiers during a demonstration against the construction of Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley, in the West Bank, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
November 18, 2016 - 1:50 AM

COPENHAGEN - Sweden's Foreign Ministry says the country is "deeply concerned" about a planned Israeli bill to allow expanded construction in major West Bank settlements.

The ministry said Friday such settlements are contrary to "Israeli and international law," and "greatly undermine" the possibility of a two-state solution.

Israel's parliament this week gave preliminary approval to a contentious bill that would retroactively legalize hundreds of homes in West Bank settlements that sit on private Palestinian land.

Sweden urged Israel not to adopt this legislation, adding "it opens up for the legalization of a large number of settlements."

Stockholm's relations with Israel have been strained since the Social Democratic-led government in 2014 recognized Palestinian statehood, and Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom's comments on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have elicited angry responses from Israeli officials.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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