Right wing Israeli lawmakers will waste no time advancing a bill to annex part of the West Bank after Donald Trump’s inauguration as U.S. president, believing that the incoming administration will be sympathetic toward settlement building in the occupied territory.
Knesset Members Yoav Kish from the ruling Likud party and Bezalel Smotrich from the ultra-right Jewish Home party plan to introduce a bill on January 22, just two days after Trump’s inauguration.
The bill would annex Maale Adumim, a settlement outside Jerusalem of more than 37,000. Maale Adumim is one of the settlement blocs Israel would bargain to keep in negotiations over a two-state solution.
According to Haaretz, Smotrich called annexation a “gift the people of Israel deserve in honor of President Trump’s swearing-in and a needed change in policy in Judea and Samaria,” the biblical terms for the West Bank.
Ahmed Tibi, a lawmaker with the Joint Arab List, said that the legislation would make Israel into an apartheid state.
An unnamed senior Likud source told Haaretz Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would likely not the law.
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Israeli Lawmaker Push To Annex Settlement Two Days After Trump Inauguration
Naomi Zeveloff is the former Middle East correspondent of the Forward, primarily covering Israel and the Palestinian Territories.