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Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
MKs Kisch (L) and Smotrich
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Annexation bill kept from vote by Netanyahu
PM Netanyahu makes good on his promise to US President Trump by thwarting a bill seeking to annex West Bank settlements, but is facing resistance from members of his own coalition and party who are determined to bring the legislation to vote.

The Likud's contentious and volatile annexation bill is expected to pass by a large majority on the party's Central Committee, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reluctant to bring it to a vote as he is worried it might upset US President Donald Trump—who he promised to "hold off" on construction and annexation of settlements.

 

 

The bill, sponsored by MKs Yoav Kisch (Likud) and Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi), will allow the de-facto annexation of settlements in the West Bank.

 

MKs Kisch (L) and Smotrich (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
MKs Kisch (L) and Smotrich (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
 

Netanyahu has the final say on the committee's agenda and thus can effectively torpedo the bill. This, according to senior officials, is exactly his current course of action.

 

MKs Kisch and Smotrich have already received messages from Netanyahu's associates and the Prime Minister's Office calling on them to postpone the vote, but MK Kisch said he would not give in to pressure.

 

"I am determined to bring the proposal to a vote," he said, "because this is the most appropriate time to do so."

 

PM Netanyahu (Photo: MCT)
PM Netanyahu (Photo: MCT)

 

The Bayit Yehudi party also said Thursday that they are determined to bring the bill to a discussion and vote at the beginning of the week.

 

"We welcome the Likud Central Committee approval of the proposal (which took place—ed) several weeks and we look forward to Sunday to translate this into deeds," the party said in a statement.

 

"Like when the Begin government enacted Israeli law over the Golan Heights in 1981, so too should the current government make the required Zionist decision."

 


First published: 02.09.18, 13:47
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