Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made a decision to postpone a vote on a controversial bill that critics say would amount to the de facto annexation of Israeli settlements surrounding Jerusalem, an official said Saturday.
But he couldn't help but lay into the prime minister for the "turmoil and chaos" caused by Barnaby Joyce's exit from parliament because of his citizenship status. I don't think so either. The release said they discussed issues facing Israel and how to bolster the relationship between the country and Wisconsin.
A bill before the Israeli parliament which would have secured a Jewish majority in Jerusalem has been delayed, following pressure from the United States and concerns it would allow Israel to annex large parts of the West Bank. U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman also participated in the meeting, which was "a general check in on peace conversations", the official said. "Therefore, if the bill passes in a week, or in a month, it's less problematic", he said.
Israel's claim to all of Jerusalem as its capital, including the eastern sector it captured along with the West Bank and Gaza Strip in a 1967 Middle East war, has not won global recognition.
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Netanyahu had previously indicated that he would give his backing for the proposal to absorb Ma'ale Adumim, Beitar Illit and Efrat, along with the Etzion bloc of settlements, into the Jerusalem municipality. It sees the entire city as its indivisible capital, while the Palestinians want the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.
Israel's Haaretz newspaper quoted Netanyahu as telling cabinet ministers yesterday: "The Americans turned to us and inquired what the bill was all about".
Some 500000 Israelis live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, areas home to more than 2.6 million Palestinians. As we have been coordinating with them until now, it is worthwhile (to continue) talking and coordinating with them. Israel officially maintains that the settlements are not illegal, because the land is disputed rather than occupied.