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Israeli MPs to submit new bill to annex West Bank settlements

January 5, 2018 at 10:43 am

Bezalel Smotrich [Atbannett/Wikipedia]

A group of Israeli parliamentarians are intending to submit a bill that would “apply Israeli law to Area C of the [occupied] West Bank”, reported The Jerusalem Post on Friday.

According to the paper, Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich tweeted that he plans “to submit in the coming days, with God’s help, a new, broader proposal that will match the Likud central committee decision to apply sovereignty on all settlements”.

At the same time, Smotrich has pulled a separate draft bill that would see Israel annex Ma’ale Adumim settlement east of Jerusalem, apparently “at the request of the Likud’s settler pressure group, the Likud Nationalist Camp”.

The latest development follows a recent vote by the Likud central committee to support the annexation of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, as well as a decision in the Knesset to “instruct all legislative committees’ legal advisers to have the panels discuss how each bill on its agenda will apply to the West Bank, whether in the text of the law or through a military order”.

Read: As Israel prepares to annex most of the West Bank, Abbas bleats about ‘incitement’

Likud Nationalist Camp co-chair Natan Engelsman said he asked Smotrich to remove his bill from the agenda, “but that he plans to ask someone in the Likud to draft a bill reflecting the Likud central committee decision”.

“I believe the public understands that the half-a-million Israelis [settlers] living in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] deserve sovereignty and rights”, Engelsman said.


Pointing to the Likud central committee’s approval of his call for the application of Israeli sovereignty to settlements, Engelsman said: “The Likud understood it and voted unanimously for it, and most members of the Likud faction, the ministers and MKs, supported it”.

He added: “the public in Israel understands today that we deserve, at minimum, for the law to be applied to Area C, which is not all of Judea and Samaria [the West Bank]”.