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West Bank annex law blocked

    A Palestinian walks past anti-Arab graffiti daubed by settlers last weekend (Photo: Flash 90)
    A Palestinian walks past anti-Arab graffiti daubed by settlers last weekend (Photo: Flash 90)

    Last Sunday, the cabinet legislative committee voted down a proposal to apply Israeli law to parts of the West Bank and allow unlimited building in the settlements.

    The draft was presented by Likud’s MK Miri Regev, but all the Likud ministers on the committee voted against the law on the orders of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Over the past year, Ms Regev has presented a number of laws aimed at making it much more difficult for the government to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians. One proposal that called for the annexation of the Jordan Valley was initially approved by the committee but has since been suspended.

    The law put forward last week was designed to apply Israeli sovereign rule to the West Bank settlements and the roads leading to them, and to prevent any limit to building in them.

    Only the two Habayit Hayehudi ministers on the committee voted in favour of the proposal.

    Likud ministers voted against their party colleague on orders from the prime minister, who is widely known to see Ms Regev’s proposals as an embarrassment and a hindrance to his diplomatic agenda.

    Without cabinet approval, the law will not receive many coalition votes and has little chance of being passed.

    The committee did approve a proposal by MK Shimon Ohayon (Yisrael Beiteinu) to amend the national education law with the requirement that teachers emphasise “Israel as the state of the Jewish nation”.

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