The Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved Sunday a bill, proposed by MK Miri Regev, to annex the Jordan
Valley, thereby ensuring that the region remains within Israeli sovereignty even if an agreement is reached with the Palestinians.
The bill was supported by eight ministers from the Likud,
Yisrael Beitenu, and Habayit Hayehudi.
Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar said: "There is no divide between settlement and security. The Jordan Valley is consensus for the citizens of Israel. Never mind – let them know the Jordan Valley will be Israeli under any final agreement."
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni,
Finance Minister Yair Lapid,
and Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri have appealed the bill, which therefore might not undergo legislation.
Minister Livni said during the meeting: "I have no respect for the proposal and its backers who are weakening themselves. By supporting this bill you are essentially giving up on the government's authority to make decisions on important issues."
The justice minister added she was surprised that bills regarding tax benefits are postponed to allow further debates, and "a proposal that is meant to harm Israeli interests" is approved so quickly.
"The government is tying its hands and the hands of the prime minister," she said. "A profound debate must be held on such issues. You can't ratify such populist proposals… which cause great damage to the State of Israel
and render it isolated in the world."
Minister Peri said that the bill was provocative and "proposed in order to gain publicity, and nothing else."
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the approval of the bill is destroying US Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts to advance the peace process.
Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop