Knesset approves bill that prevents division of Jerusalem 

A bill requiring the support of a two-thirds Knesset majority in order to cede any part of Jerusalem has passed its last parliamentary hurdle.

By: World Israel  News Staff

A bill requiring a supermajority of 80 Members of Knesset (MK) to approve diplomatic concessions with regard to the Israeli capital was approved in a final vote early Tuesday morning by the Knesset’s plenum.

By a vote of 64 in favor, 51 against and one abstention, the Knesset approved in the second and third final readings an amendment to “Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel,” which states that giving up Israeli sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem would require a majority of at least 80 MKs, two-thirds of the Knesset.

The bill enjoyed the Knesset’s support in July, with 58 MKs in favor versus 48 against during its first plenum reading.

The Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee approved the bill in November.

Currently, Israeli law requires the consent of at least 61 MKs, a majority in the 120-member Knesset, for handing over sovereign control of any part of the capital to foreign governments or agencies, possibly as part of a diplomatic solution with the Palestinians.

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While the bill demands 80 votes for withdrawal, it requires only 61 to amend the law itself.

“The Mount of Olives, the Old City, the Temple Mount and the City of David will forever remain in our hands,” Minister of Education Naftali Bennett, who supported the bill, stated. “There will be no more political maneuvers that will enable the tearring apart of our capital.”

The vote was Israel’s response to the “shameful UN vote against Jerusalem,” he added. “This is a celebratory day for Israel.”

A Palestinian-sponsored resolution at the United Nations General Assembly declaring Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void” passed last month by a 128-9 margin, with 35 abstentions. Twenty-one countries were absent during the vote.

“The goal of the bill is to prevent concessions as part of diplomatic deals,” MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli, who proposed the legislation, stated in November.

“Jerusalem will never be on the negotiating table. The State of Israel will not allow for the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem. Get it into your heads that Jerusalem was the capital of the Jewish people and will remain the capital of the Jewish people for all eternity,” she said.