Outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday urged Israeli lawmakers to reconsider advancing a bill that would legalize Israeli settlement homes on private Palestinian land in the West Bank. “I strongly urge legislators to reconsider advancing this bill, which will have negative legal consequences for Israel and substantially diminish the

chances for Arab-Israeli peace,” Ban told the UN Security Council during his final briefing on the Middle East. Israeli lawmakers including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have wrestled for weeks with the so-called settlement bill, which would legalize nearly 4,000 settlement homes built with some form of state cooperation on what is considered private Palestinian land by allowing the government to compensate landowners rather than raze the homes. READ MORE