Trump now opposes ‘Greater Jerusalem’ bill, seen as obstacle to peace

Israeli legislation designed to gather Jerusalem area communities into a unified municipal district is apparently facing resistance from US officials.

A recently proposed bill that would permit the Israeli government to annex communities in Judea and Samaria into a Jerusalem-based district has apparently run into opposition from the Trump administration. This development runs counter to reports from the State Department last week that the US would not oppose the legislation, which is not the first time that Trump officials and State have failed to see eye-to-eye on issues related to Israel.

The legislation, entitled the Greater Jerusalem Law, would have brought close to 20 communities in areas captured during the 1967 Six Day War under the jurisdiction of the Israeli capital. These communities include larger towns, such as Ma’ale Adumim, Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar Illit and Givat Ze’ev, in addition to smaller enclaves.

The Greater Jerusalem Law  envisioned bringing together around 150,000 Israelis into the Jerusalem district, in addition to transforming Arab villages outside the security barrier into an independent municipality within Greater Jerusalem. While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had previously expressed support for the legislation, US officials told the Jerusalem Post that the Trump administration “discourages” further action on the bill, which it sees as an impediment to an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

The unnamed Trump official told the Post that such legislation would “distract the principals” from “peace negotiations,” notwithstanding the fact that no meaningful movement toward these negotiations has occurred since the new president took office.

By: World Israel News Staff