Israeli Minister proposes ‘Greater Jerusalem’ law

A government minister is proposing to incorporate a handful of towns located outside of Jerusalem into Israel’s capital, essentially annexing them to Israel in the process.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News

Israeli Minister of Intelligence Yisrael Katz, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, is presenting a proposal on Sunday at a meeting of the security cabinet to extend Israeli sovereignty to a number of Jewish towns and communities located just outside of the current municipal boundaries of Jerusalem.

“Jerusalem first,” Katz wrote in a Facebook post, implicitly referencing US President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan of putting “American first.”

“Today I will propose at the security cabinet that we pass the ‘Greater Jerusalem Law’ that includes extending Israeli sovereignty to the surrounding communities of greater Jerusalem,” continued Katz. “This is a necessary first diplomatic step in the era of President Trump.”

Katz’s plan essentially goes farther than that of Education Minister and Jewish Home party Chairman Naftali Bennett to officially declare the town of Ma’ale Adumim as a part of Israel. The “Greater Jerusalem Law” would also incorporate Givat Ze’ev to the northwest of Jerusalem as well as Beitar Illit and the Etzion regional bloc of communities, which are directly southwest of Jerusalem, into Israel’s capital.

Despite Netanyahu’s claim that Trump requested Israel not make any unilateral moves without first discussing them with the White House, Katz said that Israel would unquestionably receive sufficient support from the new US administration.

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“The support of world Jewry and our friends in the US, who see Jerusalem as the historic capital of the Jewish people for thousands of years, is assured,” Katz asserted. “There is nothing more appropriate that this bill to mark 50 years since the liberation and unification of Jerusalem.”

During the Six Day War in 1967, the Jewish state liberated eastern Jerusalem, including the Old City, which had been under Jordanian control since 1948. Israel officially declared the newly acquired portions of Jerusalem as part of its unified capital in 1980 with the passage of the Jerusalem Law.