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New Likud bill proposes Israel annex West Bank settlements

Construction workers build illegal settlements in the West Bank [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apaimages]

A new bill drafted by Likud MK Yoav Kisch would see Israeli law applied to West Bank settlements, “effectively annexing them”, according to a report by Ynet.

The legislation, Ynet says, “is identical to a resolution unanimously adopted by the Likud Central Committee a month ago”.

“It’s time to put the Likud Central Committee’s resolution into practice and begin applying sovereignty over the settlement areas in Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank],” Kisch said.

“There will be no better historic opportunity to do this,” he added.

Ynet reports that a campaign group “made up of hundreds of Likud Central Committee members” will be pressuring “lawmakers to promote Kisch’s proposal”.

The article refers to a number of annexation bills proposed in recent times, including one to annex Ma’ale Adumim settlement, one to annex Gush Etzion, Ariel and the Jordan Valley, and one to annex Givat Ze’ev. To date, such proposals have been “sidelined by the coalition”, Ynet notes.

Read: Israel’s ruling party calls for de-facto annexation of West Bank settlements

MK Kisch, meanwhile, has told Arutz Sheva that he is optimistic about the chances of his new bill.

“This week we’ll sign a majority of Likud members onto [the bill], then we’ll go to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation in two weeks,” he said.

“This bill will allow cabinet ministers to set up a timetable [for the application of sovereignty]. It is the legislative mechanism will enable the application of [Israeli] sovereignty onto land in Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank] considered vitally important to the State of Israel.”

#LandGrab

According to Arutz Sheva, “even if the bill is passed…it will not result in the immediate application of sovereignty, but will instead create the framework for extending sovereignty in the future.”

Kisch claims that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “backs this process”.

“It’s only a question of the timing. I think that [US Vice President Mike] Pence’s visit has strengthened the feeling that this is the right time, that this is the time to apply sovereignty. We’re at a historic juncture.”

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