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Settlement Annexation Bill Shelved as Bibi and Trump Talk

A vote on an Israeli bill to annex the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim has been postponed until Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with new U.S. President Donald Trump.

Right wing ministers agreed to defer the proposed legislation after Netanyahu lifted building restrictions in East Jerusalem, a move that would allow Israeli settlements in the area that Palestinians claim as their capital city to a future state.

According to Haaretz, Trump told the cabinet that he supports the annexation of Maale Adumim, but that he didn’t want to surprise the new administration with a drastic move.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett has been pressuring Netanyahu to take advantage of what he sees as a historic moment to apply Israeli sovereignty to areas that that would be part of an independent Palestinian state in an effort to bury the two state solution.

Netanyahu and Trump had an initial phone call on Sunday evening, which Trump said was “very nice.”

Contact Naomi Zeveloff at zeveloff@forward.com

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