Jerusalem expansion bill 'distracts' parties from peace

Jerusalem expansion bill 'distracts' parties from peace

Jerusalem expansion bill 'distracts' parties from peace

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has chose 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.

"There is American pressure that claims this is about annexation and that this could interfere with the peace process", Bitan told Army Radio.

Turnbull was slated to arrive in the Jewish state last week, but had his trip cut two days short after Australia's High Court last Friday found the country's Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and four other politicians had been wrongly elected due to their holding of dual citizenship.

'I think the right of Israel is to live within secure borders and I also support the legitimate aspirations the Palestinian people to have their own homeland, ' he said.

Throughout this bill, Israel is to include the illegal settlements of Ma'aleh Adumim, Givat Zeev, Beitar Ellit, Efrat and Gush Etzion with a total population of 150,000 to the Jerusalem Municipality increasing its Jewish population in an effort to reduce its Arab majority.

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. We have to take the time to clarify matters to the Americans.

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 worldwide community. "Therefore, if the bill passes in a week, or in a month, it's less problematic".

"We are in touch with the Americans", Netanyahu said, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

Some 500000 Israelis live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, areas home to more than 2.6 million Palestinians.

"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. Israel disputes that its settlements are illegal, citing historical, biblical and political links to the territory, as well as security considerations.

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