JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s highest court on Tuesday struck down a contentious law that sought to retroactively legalize thousands of West Bank settlement homes built unlawfully on private Palestinian land.

Israel’s parliament passed the law in February 2017, but it was frozen by the Supreme Court shortly thereafter while it heard petitions against it.

The court’s decision was criticized by the ruling pro-settlement Likud party, but welcomed by its coalition partners in the Blue and White party, exposing a rift in the fragile new government.

The court ruled Tuesday that the law was illegal, saying it “retroactively authorized illegal actions done by a particular population in the area while harming the rights of another population.”

According to the law, Palestinian landowners would be compensated either with money or

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