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Knesset rejects bill intended to prevent talks on occupied Jerusalem

February 10, 2014 at 9:49 am

Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, has voted by a large majority to block a bill intended to block negotiations for a political agreement over Jerusalem without first achieving the support of 80 Members of the Knesset (MKs). Fifty-one MKs opposed the bill and 12 voted in favour; only one MK abstained.

Support for the proposal came mainly from MKs belonging to the Shas and Yahadut HaTorah coalition, along with Likud member Moshe Feiglin. Other Likud MKs, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Yisrael Beiteinu MKs were all absent when the vote was taken.

During the debate that preceded the vote, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni described the bill as “a cynical attempt to disturb the coalition government”; she believes that if it became law it would lead to an end of negotiations with the Palestinians.

Jacob Litzman MK (Yahadut HaTorah), who introduced the bill in question, said that he does not believe that Minister Livni represents the opinion of the prime minister. He noted that Netanyahu, unlike Livni, is committed not to negotiate over Jerusalem.