It has been speculated that the law will be appealed and reviewed by Israel’s High Court of Justice which is likely to rule it unconstitutional.
Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said he believed that the legislation would be opposed by Israel’s judges: “The chance that it will be struck down by the Supreme Court is 100%”.
The bill, which was put forward by the right-wing, religious Jewish Home Party, has received condemnation from Israel’s Attorney General and opposition parties, the EU, and the UN.
Speaking before Monday’s vote, Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog slammed the bill and urged coalition MKs to “stop tonight’s vote, which would be a disaster for the state”.
Critics of the law say that it aims to prevent further demolitions of settler homes built on private Palestinian land, and paves the way for Israel to recognise some 4,000 of these homes.
The bill passed in the Knesset on Monday, receiving 60 votes in favour to 52 against.
All opposition MKs present voted against the bill, with Likud MK Benny Begin the only coalition member to oppose the measure. Eight MKs were not present in the plenary for the vote.
Leader of Israel’s centrist Yesh Atid party, Yair Lapid, said: “They are passing a law that will endanger IDF soldiers, will endanger Israel’s international standing, will endanger our being a state of law and order, because they have problems within the coalition”.
The law follows Israel’s eviction last week of the West Bank settlement outpost of Amona, where 3,000 Israeli police officers evacuated 42 families from their homes, following a Supreme Court ruling that said the homes were built on private Palestinian land.
Proponents of the bill have vowed that an eviction like Amona will never be repeated.
The Israeli government has stated that the law is intended to address the problem of Israeli homes in the West Bank built without permission on land that is not state land, and that the majority of construction took place decades ago.
It states further that the law determines that the rights of use and possession of the lands will be transferred to the authorities until a diplomatic arrangement is reached. Owners of the lands will receive fair monetary compensation for the use or alternative nearby lands.
Israel’s government has underlined that the law will not apply retroactively to cases in which a ruling has already been issued by the court, such as Amona and the nine houses in Ofra.