The “unified Jerusalem” bill which provides for separating Palestinian neighborhoods from Jerusalem and prohibits relinquishing any part of the city under any future agreement has passed its second and third readings at the Israeli Knesset.
Any decision relating to Jerusalem, the bill stipulated, will require the consent of 80 MKs—even in the case of a peace agreement.
64 MKs supported the bill and 51 objected. MK Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid) ended up abstaining, despite his intention of voting against it.
The bill, filed by the Jewish Home party, requires the approval of 80 MKs for any decision to hand over parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority in the future.
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation ratified the bill several months ago, and it was amended later to settle differences of opinion in the government coalition.
Initiated by Israeli ministers Naftali Bennett and Ze’ev Elkin, the bill is aimed at preparing for future steps to cut off Palestinian neighborhoods from Jerusalem and establish a new Israeli local council for them. The project mainly targets Kafr Aqab and Shu’fat neighborhoods.
The “unified Jerusalem” bill was set to face a vote earlier but Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, had decided to postpone the vote following the U.S. president Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.