Friday, 20 July, 2018

Israeli lawmakers pass law to hamstring dividing Jerusalem

The city of Ma'ale Adumim one of the largest Israeli settlements in the West Bank The city of Ma'ale Adumim one of the largest Israeli settlements in the West Bank
Melinda Barton | 03 January, 2018, 01:31

Mr Trump's December 6 decision sparked regional protests and prompted the Palestinians to rule out Washington as a peace broker in any future talks.

The Likud vote was nonbinding, but was a further expression of the hopes of many right-wing Israelis who oppose the creation of a Palestinian state.

"Such legislation builds upon a long series of racist laws, proposals and measures that reveal Israel's intent to erase the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem, destroy the territorial contiguity and demographic presence of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and to impose a de facto one-state solution", Ashrawi added.

Corralling a three-fourths majority for anything in the Israel Knesset is next to impossible, as evidenced by the vote on this very bill.

Israel occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Israel sees the entire city as its capital, while the Palestinians want the eastern sector as the capital of their future state. Israel annexed East Jerusalem shortly after the war, claiming it part of its "indivisible capital", in a move never recognized by the worldwide community.

The advisory resolution, which was widely condemned in Israeli political circles, was also slammed by Hamas and Fatah - the two main Palestinian political parties.

"The authority to relinquish parts of the land is not in the hands of any Jew, nor of the Jewish people", said Naftali Bennett, head of the far-right Jewish Home coalition party, which sponsored the legislation. Tensions rose after President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem to be Israel's capital last month, breaking with decades of US policy and an worldwide consensus that the city's status should be decided in peace negotiations.

Abbas' office said Trump's recognition and the Israeli law amounted to a "declaration of war on the Palestinian people and its political and religious identity".

Speaking of the Likud vote, he said "we hope that this vote serves as a reminder for the worldwide community that the Israeli government, with the full support of the USA administration, is not interested in a just and lasting peace".