under us pressure israel delays move to expand jerusalem
Last Updated : GMT 13:26:15
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Last Updated : GMT 13:26:15
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Under US pressure, Israel delays move to expand Jerusalem

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Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today Under US pressure, Israel delays move to expand Jerusalem

Under US pressure, Israel delays move to expand Jerusalem
Jerusalem - Al Maghrib Today

Under pressure from the US, Israel has delayed a bill that would connect a number of West Bank settlements to Jerusalem, officials said Sunday.
The bill aims to solidify the city’s Jewish majority, but stops short of formal annexation, making the practical implications unclear. The bill says the communities would be considered “daughter municipalities” of Jerusalem.
The Palestinians claim both East Jerusalem and the West Bank, territories captured by Israel in the 1967 war, as part of their future state, a position that has wide international backing. Israel annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognized internationally.
Israel’s Haaretz newspaper quoted Netanyahu as saying Israel needs to coordinate the bill with the US.
“The Americans turned to us and inquired what the bill was about. As we have been coordinating with them until now, it is worth (to continue) talking and coordinating with them. We are working to promote and develop the settlement enterprise,” it quoted Netanyahu as saying at a government meeting Sunday.
Earlier Sunday, David Bitan, the Likud party’s parliamentary whip and a close Netanyahu ally, told Army Radio the vote was delayed because “there is American pressure claiming this is annexation.”
Peace Now, an Israeli anti-settlement watchdog group, said the bill would amount to “de facto annexation” and be a clear step toward full annexation of the West Bank.
US President Donald Trump’s envoy Jason Greenblatt has been shuttling throughout the region in hopes of restarting peace talks, which last collapsed in 2014.
But in contrast to the Obama administration, Trump has not explicitly endorsed a Palestinian state. He also has shown some tolerance for settlement construction, urging Israel to show restraint but saying a complete halt is unnecessary.
Israel says the fate of the settlements, home to more than 600,000 Israelis, should be decided through peace talks along with other core issues like security.
Also on Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman he wants to expand the controversial policy of demolishing homes of Palestinians involved in fatal attacks to include perpetrators who seriously wound Israelis.
The minister has instructed the army and Defense Ministry to “examine the possibility to demolish the homes of terrorists who carried out attacks in which Israeli civilians were seriously wounded,” Lieberman said in a statement.
“Destroying the homes of terrorists who carried out murderous attacks is an effective and proven means in the fight against terror and deters those planning attacks,” the statement said.
Israel says the demolition policy, in place since 1967, is a means of deterring future attackers.
Critics of the policy say it is a form of collective punishment, forcing family members to suffer for the acts of relatives, and illegal under international law.
They also question whether the policy acts as a deterrent or if it creates more potential attackers due to the anger it provokes.

Source: arabnews

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