Emboldened by a recent US policy shift, the Israeli parliament has passed a bill that makes it more difficult to cede parts of Jerusalem al-Quds to Palestinians, who want the eastern section of the occupied city as the capital of their future state.
Israeli legislators on Tuesday approved the amendment to existing legislation, raising the number of required votes from 61 to 80 in the 120-seat parliament (Knesset) before the regime can relinquish control over any portion of the holy city to a “foreign party.”
The bill, backed by Israel’s ruling right-wing coalition, was passed with 64 legislators voting in favor and 52 against.
Israel’s opposition head Isaac Herzog said that the extreme right-wing Jewish Home Party, which is part of the ruling coalition of Premier Benjamin Netanyahu, was leading Israel “toward a terrible disaster.”
Palestinian protesters burn pictures of US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a rally in Gaza City, December 7, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
The decision comes less than a month after US President Donald Trump said the White House recognizes the entire of Jerusalem al-Quds, both its east and west, as Israel’s “capital,” outraging Palestinians and triggering warnings across the world.
The UN resoundingly rejected the policy in a General Assembly vote. PLO reacts: The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s Secretary General, Saeb Erekat, said the Israeli parliament’s vote on the “unified” Jerusalem al-Quds legislation was the outcome of Trump’s decision and part of new US-Israeli collaboration to dictate a solution and destroy the so-called two-state principle.
Erekat told the official Voice of Palestine radio that President Mahmoud Abbas has outlined the Palestinian strategy to face these acts that seek to liquidate the Palestinian cause.
He said that the Palestinian leadership will seek full membership at the United Nations to defeat all these American and Israeli attempts.
Palestinians will go to the UN Security Council, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to counter all these plots, he said.
Erekat added that 36 meetings have been held with the American administration aimed at reaching a serious peace process but the Americans have breached all their commitments.—Agencies