Knesset backs bill preventing division of Jerusalem

A bill requiring the backing of a Knesset majority of two-thirds in order to cede any part of Jerusalem was approved in its preliminary format.

On Wednesday, lawmakers approved a bill proposal that requires a two-thirds majority support in any future decision to divide the Israeli capital.

The legal initiative was put forward by Member of Knesset (MK) Shuli Moalem-Refaeli of the Jewish Home party. The bill enjoys coalition backing and has moved forward in the Knesset with 58 MKs in favor versus 48 against.

“The goal of the bill is to prevent concessions as part of diplomatic deals,” Moalem-Refaeli stated. She passionately defended the deep bonds between the Jewish people and their capital Jerusalem.

“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.

The bill requires support from at least 80 Members of Knesset as a prerequisite for potential future divisions of Jerusalem. In order to be adopted, it must first pass three readings and with a minimum two committee write-ups. Due to lack of time, it will be put on hold until the Israeli parliament returns from its fall recess in October.

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Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Ze’ev Elkin described the bill as “very important” to safeguard the Israeli capital in future negotiations.

“We will prevent a situation like in 2000 when [then-Prime Minister] Ehud Barak wanted to hand over the Temple Mount and two-thirds of the Old City to [Palestinian leader Yasser] Arafat” at the Camp David talks, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Jewish Home chair, wrote on Twitter this week.

By: World Israel News Staff