The Ministerial Law Committee on Sunday authorized for legislation a law that would require any withdrawals from land within the city limits of Jerusalem to be approved by 80 MKs. The law was authored by MK Yaakov Litzman (UTJ).
The law was approved for legislation by five ministers, with four against. Opposing were ministers from Yesh Atid, while those in favor included ministers Uri Ariel and Uri Orbach and the Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) party, and Yair Shamir, and Sofa Landver of Yisrael Beiteinu. Likud ministers abstained.
Ariel said he voted to approve the law for legislation, “even though I do not think that even the approval of 80 MKs is sufficient to decide the fate of Jerusalem.”
Also voting against was Justice Minister Tzippy Livni of the left-wing Hatnua party, who said that “we are in a period when the Arab world, and the rest of the world as well, are looking at us. Jerusalem is a very sensitive subject. With negotiations going on with the Palestinians, this is no time for such laws.”
The Palestinian Authority has demanded a full withdrawal from all areas of Jerusalem liberated by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War. That would include neighborhoods like Ramat Eshkol, Gilo, French Hill, and of course the entire Old City. The law would require 80 MKs to approve withdrawals – or “land swaps” - involving these areas. In addition, the law would require the approval of 80 Knesset members for withdrawals from Arab neighborhoods that are within the city limits of Jerusalem, such as Beit Hanina.