Op-Ed via Al Jazeera English

Legalising the annexation of Jerusalem

In late October, the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation was set to vote on the "Greater Jerusalem" Bill. If it had passed, it would have been presented before the Knesset floor for several readings, before a vote on whether or not to legislate it. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had previously stated that he would support it, giving it serious political force and backing. The vote has now been postponed following requests for clarification on various aspects of the bill from the US administration.

The bill, as suggested by its title, would expand the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem to include four major illegal settlements and many more smaller ones under the municipal jurisdiction of Jerusalem. The settlements, Ma'ale Adumim, Givat Ze'ev, Betar Illit and Efrat, are part of the Gush Etzion settlement block that stretches from Jerusalem to Hebron. Although legislators claim that these areas will not be under full Israeli sovereignty, this move would certainly amount to de facto annexation. 

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