Coalition heads delay annexation bill following Syria clashes
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Coalition heads delay annexation bill following Syria clashes

Party leaders agree to postpone discussion of legislation that would apply Israeli sovereignty over all areas of Jewish settlement

A picture taken from the Israeli settlement of Kedar shows the West Bank Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim (foreground-R), a few kilometers from East Jerusalem (background) on October 26, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX)
A picture taken from the Israeli settlement of Kedar shows the West Bank Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim (foreground-R), a few kilometers from East Jerusalem (background) on October 26, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX)

Citing the security incidents on Israel’s northern border over the weekend, the heads of coalition parties on Sunday pulled legislation aimed at annexing Israeli settlements in the West Bank from the agenda of a meeting on the coming week’s legislative timetable.

The so-called Sovereignty Bill, drafted by Yoav Kisch (Likud) and Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home), seeks to apply Israeli sovereignty over all areas of Jewish settlement in the West Bank, which are currently under military rule.

It will likely be pushed off until next week’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation meeting.

The measure comes just over a month after the Likud Central Committee, the party’s top decision-making body, unanimously adopted a similar resolution calling on its members to act toward achieving West Bank annexation.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a Likud party faction meeting at the Knesset on February 5, 2018. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

On Thursday, a spokesman for a senior member of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation told The Times of Israel that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had pulled the legislation from the committee’s agenda in order to provide time to coordinate the measure with the White House first.

After Netanyahu pulled the vote from the committee meeting, 18 West Bank council chairmen signed a letter initiated by the Yesha settlement umbrella council calling on the prime minister to advance the legislation.

Settler leaders still expressed confidence that the proposal has never had a higher likelihood of adoption. “Now more than ever, the conditions are ripe to apply sovereignty over Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley,” Yesha Director-General Shiloh Adler said.

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