Israel enacts new law on negotiations with Palestinians

80 of the 120 Israeli parliament members must now approve any deal on Jerusalem.

The Israeli Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs has authorised a law charging that any decision on Jerusalem’s status amid the negotiations with the Palestinians will require the support of 80 members of the Knesset (parliament) out of the 120.

The proposal was initiated by Member of Knesset (MK) Ya’akov Litzman, aimed at thwarting attempts to make concessions on Jerusalem which may damage the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

A Knesset spokesperson confirmed that five ministers from the right wing parties voted for the proposal, while four other ministers objected.

However, Chief Israeli negotiator and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni announced following the approval of the law that she would appeal it.

According to a report by the Ha’aretz daily, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also objects to the law and will support Livni on her appeal.

In a draft of the bill, Litzman noted that Jerusalem, the city that was brought together, would not be divided and its parts would not be given to anyone.

“This bill prevents the possibility that at any stage of the diplomatic negotiations, there won’t be any discussion on the status of Jerusalem, the Israeli people’s pride and joy,” the bill proposal stated.

The law in itself bans any negotiation on topics related to Jerusalem prior to a decision made in the Knesset (parliament) about it, which may cause serious damage to the negotiations.

In August, the Knesset approved in first reading a bill advocated by the government, according to which any land swaps as part of peace agreements would be brought forward to a referendum, amid the renewal of the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in July.



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