Bennett to submit vote on annexing Ma’ale Adumim

Education Minister Naftali Bennett will present legislation at the end of January to annex Ma’ale Adumim, a Jewish city three miles outside of Jerusalem with a population of 40,000. 

Education Minister and Chairman of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party Naftali Bennett tweeted on Sunday morning that he will introduce a bill at the end of this month to annex the Israeli city of Ma’ale Adumim.

“By the end of January, we will have submitted a proposal to apply Israeli law in Maale Adumim,” Bennett wrote. “I expect every member of the government to support this law.”

In an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 on Thursday, Bennett pointed to the latter part of January as an ideal time for submitting such a vote, referencing the date of US President-elect Trump’s inauguration.  

“From January 20, there’ll be a different policy in the government,” he said on Thursday.

Members within Bennett’s party are expected to vote for the bill. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) expressed her support for such a proposal on Saturday night.

“We want to annex Maale Adumim, and at some point, we want to annex all of Area C,” she said. Area C includes all areas of Judea and Samaria that are exclusively under the IDF’s control and supervision such as Maale Adumim.

“I think the State of Israel can contain 90,000 Arabs,” she added, referring to the number of Palestinians currently residing in Area C.

However, Bennett is far from receiving support from the rest of the coalition. Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, has referred to such a plan as a “disaster.”

During an interview with Israel Army Radio on Thursday, Housing Minister Yoav Galant from the coalition’s Kulanu faction doubted the likelihood that such a bill would pass, insisting instead on “a more moderate outlook” on such issues.

It is also all but certain that the bill would face stiff resistance from MKs in the opposition.

Ma’ale Adumim, a Jerusalem suburb located barely three miles outside of the capital, is the largest Jewish city in Judea and Samaria, with a population of 40,000.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News