Israel Right Wing Pushes West Bank Annexation Plan

Tzipi Livni Vows To Challenge Cabinet Allies

By Reuters

Published December 29, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A panel of Israeli cabinet ministers endorsed proposed legislation on Sunday to annex an area of the occupied West Bank likely to be the eastern border of a future Palestinian state.

The move, pushed by far-right members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, could weigh on troubled U.S.-brokered peace negotiations several days before another visit to the region by Secretary of State John Kerry.

But centrist Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who also heads Israel’s negotiations with the Palestinians, immediately challenged the motion, and said she would use her powers to block the legislation from being voted on in Parliament.

Peace talks have shown few signs of progress since Kerry oversaw their renewal in July after a three-year deadlock.

The target is to reach an agreement by April towards achieving a “two-state solution” in which Israel and a new Palestinian state would co-exist side by side.

The Jordan Valley region of the West Bank which Israel captured in a 1967 war and Palestinians seek as part of their future state, has been a focus of recent disagreement. Palestinians reject Israel’s demand to maintain a security presence there.

Kerry said in Washington earlier this month that the need to resolve the dispute over the Jordan Valley was “a critical threading of a needle that has to happen in order to achieve an agreement”. He said he was coordinating with Jordan as well.

The Israeli proposal to incorporate the Jordan Valley within its borders, endorsed by the cabinet’s legislative committee, was the first Israeli step in years to annex any territory captured in 1967.

Shortly after that war, in a move not recognised internationally, Israel annexed East Jerusalem and added some adjoining West Bank land to the city, which it regards as its capital.

The last time Israel annexed any land captured in the 1967 war was in 1981 when it applied its law to Syria’s Golan Heights, a strategic plateau that lies to the north.

The proposed legislation came up two days before Israel said it would free 26 Palestinian prisoners, the third of four groups of prisoners being released as an agreed confidence-building measure since peace negotiations resumed.

The prisoners had been jailed for deadly violence committed before a 1993 Israeli-Palestinian interim peace accord.

Also expected to weigh on Kerry’s visit this week is an Israeli plan to build 1,400 homes in Jewish settlements, which Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said would “destroy the peace process” and could be met with retaliation


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.