Likud politicians have filed a private member’s bill that would apply immediate sovereignty to all West Bank settlements.
Advancement of the bill would depend on whether the battle to open the 23rd Knesset succeeds or fails.
But should the Knesset be able to resume its general business, there will likely be enough votes to pass such a bill.
The right-wing bloc led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has 58 seats, and all those politicians belong to parties that would support sovereignty. This includes the Likud, Yamina, Shas and United Torah Judaism. The Likud politicians presume that the Yisrael Beytenu Party with seven seats, headed by Avigdor Liberman, would also support such a bill. With 65 politicians behind it, the bill would have majority support.
The bill was the initiative of Economic Affairs Minister Eli Cohen, but was filed by freshman Likud MK May Golan, with the support of Likud faction head MK Miki Zohar.
The bill itself does not technically speak of annexation or sovereignty, but instead asks that Israeli law be applied to the area of the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea, as well as to all the West Bank settlements. The application of Israeli law is presumed to be analogous to annexation.
Zohar, in tweeting about the bill, spoke of it as “the annexation of the Jordan Valley.”
Under the Trump peace plan, Israel can annex 30% of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. The US, however, has asked Israel to wait to annex that area until it has completed a mapping process of the area.
But the bill calls for the application of Israeli law to those areas that would likely be included in the map in any scenario, thereby separating sovereignty from the mapping process.
The Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Ministry has already called on the international community to block the bill, according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa.