Netanyahu approves Jordan Valley annexation bill after U.S. changes policy
Approval of bill by Netanyahu comes following change in US stance regarding the legality of Israeli settlements in the West Bank
Benjamin Netanyahu and Mike Pompeo meet at the UN Security Council, September 26, 2018
(photo credit: GPO PHOTO DEPARTMENT)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his approval to advance a bill that would have Israel apply sovereignty to the Jordan Valley, after the US State Department reversed its stance of viewing Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal.
Likud MK Sharren Haskel proposed the bill weeks ago, but decided to fast-track it in light of the change in US policy.
Haskel said “the bill has the prime minister’s full backing.”
In the days before the September 17 election, Netanyahu announced that, if he is elected, he would annex the Jordan Valley, and his cabinet voted to legalize the Mevo’ot Yericho outpost in the Jordan Valley as a new settlement.
Haskel submitted a request to exempt her bill to annex the Jordan Valley from the mandatory six-week waiting period for any new legislation, so that it can go to a vote in the plenum next week.
The request will be subject to a vote in the Knesset Arrangements Committee, a temporary version of the Knesset House Committee until there is a coalition and opposition. Blue and White MK Avi Nissenkorn currently leads the Arrangements Committee while his party’s leader Benny Gantz has the mandate to build a government.
Haskel called on Blue and White, Yisrael Beytenu and Labor-Gesher to join the Likud’s efforts to annex the Jordan Valley, “in light of the one-time-only chance that we have before us” with US President Donald Trump’s administration.