A Star of David decorates a lamp post in Maale Adumim, near Jerusalem .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A scheduled ministerial debate on the possibility of annexing the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim has been delayed for a week. The Ministerial Legislative Committee had been scheduled to possibly vote on the matter at its weekly Sunday meeting.
However, on Friday the authors of the bill, MKs Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) and Yoav Kisch (Likud), agreed to postpone the matter by a week, so they could discuss it with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Ma’aleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel told The Jerusalem Post he believes that in the end, the legislation would be approved.
Netanyahu won’t pass up the chance to make his mark on Israeli history by being the prime minister that annexed Ma’aleh Adumim, Kashriel said.
Smotrich and Kisch, who co-chair the Knesset Land of Israel caucus, had initially attempted to pass the legislation on the Sunday immediately after the January 20 inauguration of US President Donald Trump.
At the time, Netanyahu asked them to delay the bill until after his February 15 meeting with Trump in Washington. At that meeting the two men agreed that a mechanism would be created by which they would reach an understanding on settlement activity.
To date no such mechanism has been finalized, but meanwhile Trump has publicly asked Netanyahu to hold back on settlement activity. The prime minister has spoken in support of Ma’aleh Adumim as an integral part of Israel, explaining that because of its location it helps ensure a united Jerusalem, but he has also opposed annexation efforts at this time.
Israel holds that the settlement of 38,000, the third largest in the West Bank, will one day be under its sovereignty, while the Palestinian Authority insists that its area is an important part of their future state.