Likud MK Miri Regev indicated on Friday that Israel should not accept any US proposals for a peace agreement that provides for the Palestinians to assume control of the Jordan Valley, even if a transitional Israeli security presence is maintained for a limited time.
"Negotiations should be conducted about peace, not about land," she told Israel Radio the day after submitting a bill to annex the Jordan Valley, an issue she said stands as a first order of strategic importance.
She added that Israeli law should be applied to settlements in the Jordan Valley, in order for the government to transmit the message that it will not give up on its security presence in the area.
On Thursday, Regev submitted the legislature to annex the Jordan Valley in an attempt by Likud ministers and lawmakers to limit Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s freedom in peace talks.
If Regev’s bill becomes law, Netanyahu would be unable to accept the American offer to put the Jordan Valley and border crossings into Jordan under Palestinian control, with IDF soldiers posted at the border and the US providing additional security.
According to Regev’s office, all Likud ministers other than Netanyahu support the bill and it has enough votes to be authorized by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation.
However, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who is leading negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, is the chairwoman of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation. She is likely to try to block the bill, either by not bringing it to a vote or submitting an appeal if it is approved.
Still, Likud ministers could push the legislation forward and demand that it be brought to a general ministerial vote.