Bennett gov’t votes down sovereignty law, slammed for ‘dividing Jerusalem’

“There seems to be no limit that this government does not cross,” Religous Zionism leader Smotrich said, accusing Bennett of “dividing Jerusalem de facto.”

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

The coalition, headed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, and in cooperation with the Arab-majority Joint List from the opposition, voted against the Jerusalem Sovereignty Law on Wednesday in the Knesset.

The law would have enshrined the prohibition set forth in the Oslo Accords for the Palestinian Authority’s activity within the State of Israel.

Over the years, the PA has been openly operating in Jerusalem and exhibiting sovereignty, in education, maintaining public order, and even in making arrests.

The existing law does not provide criminal sanctions for those who act in violation of the law, and as a result, criminal proceedings cannot be conducted against offenders, they cannot be arrested, and the law has essentially become meaningless.

Security officials have repeatedly argued that an amendment to the law is needed to carry out proper enforcement against Palestinian Authority officials who violate Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.

Member of Knesset Bezalel Smotrich, head of the Religious Zionism party in the opposition, introduced the amendment to the Knesset plenum and sought to impose a prison sentence for anyone who acted contrary to the law, known as the Implementation Law.

Smotrich stated after the law was voted down that “preserving sovereignty in Jerusalem should be in consensus. Enforcement of agreements and law should be in consensus. The vote against the amendment to the law is a serious violation of Jerusalem’s sovereignty.”

“There seems to be no limit that this government does not cross,” he said, accusing Bennett of “dividing Jerusalem de facto.”