Economy

Israeli official: United States pressure delays Jerusalem bill

Israeli official: United States pressure delays Jerusalem bill

Ynet News reported a senior American official saying that "the U.S. is discouraging actions that it believes will unduly distract the principals from focusing on the advancement of peace negotiations".

A bill before the Israeli parliament which would have secured a Jewish majority in Jerusalem has been delayed, following pressure from the U.S. and concerns it would allow Israel to annex large parts of the West Bank.

He said it will take time to clarify the bill to the U.S.

A member of the ruling Likud Party and chairman of the coalition, David Bitan, told Army Radio a vote by the cabinet committee would be delayed because Washington told Israel the bill could impede United States efforts to revive the peace talks that collapsed in 2014. But in the occupied West Bank, anger is continuing over illegal Israeli settlements. The bill also would remove some 100,000 Palestinians living in neighborhoods outside the security barrier the city's census and place them under a new municipality.

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The Haaretz daily quoted Netanyahu as saying Israel needs to coordinate the bill with the US.

"I want them to really understand what we are going through and that every day this lady is running free, running wild, it's really traumatic for us", Elly Sapper told the ABC. According to Haaretz newspaper, Netanyahu told cabinet members on Sunday that the bill must be discussed with United States officials before it can move forward.

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Settlements affected are Maale Adumim, Beitar Illit, Efrat, Givat Zeev, and the Gush Etzion settlement bloc.

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Peace Now, an Israeli anti-settlement watchdog group, says the bill would amount to "de facto annexation" and be a clear step toward full annexation of the West Bank.

Israel captured East Jerusalem, the Old City and the West Bank from Jordan in 1967, and extended sovereignty to the Old City and East Jerusalem in 1980, in a move never recognized by the global community.

The worldwide community is widely opposed to settlement construction.

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