Some of the signatories on the sovereignty bill
Some of the signatories on the sovereignty billPhoto: Miryam Tzachi

The campaign to annex Ma'ale Adumim and apply full Israeli law in the Jerusalem suburb, led by the Land of Israel lobby headed by MKs Yoav Kish (Likud) and Betzalel Smotrich (Jewish Home), moved into active mode today (Monday).

Ma'ale Adumim is a large Jewish suburb located just east of Jerusalem, and is classified as part of Judea and Samaria.

The bill was presented to the Knesset speaker in a special session today, and will be brought before the Ministerial Committee for legislation.

The new law would dictate that "the laws and administrative principles of the State of Israel will be applied in the territory of Ma'ale Adumim." Signatories as initiators of the bill include coalition faction heads MKs David Bitan (Likud), Yoav Ben Tzur (Shas), Roy Folkman (Kulanu), Robert Ilatov, (Yisrael Beytenu), Shuli Mualem (Jewish Home), along with MKs Yitzhak Vaknin, Oded Forer and Eli Cohen.

The Ministers and MKs also signed the "sovereignty declaration" for Ma'ale Adumim. The declaration reads: "We hereby declare our support for the 'Israeli Ma'ale Adumim' plan, our identification with the call 'The time has come for sovereignty in Ma'ale Adumim', and our commitment to act to bring the plan to apply Israeli sovereignty to Ma'ale Adumim to fruition, because it is the correct and Israeli step to take."

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein adressed the bill at the assembly. "We've been sending out mixed messages, messages that only drive peace further away," the Speaker said, "this shift in strategy is very important. It's good to go with consensus issues. And Ma'ale Adumim is a consensus issue. We've initiated a move here and we'll win. We will traverse the long road to the ratification of the law together."

Chairman of the Land of Israel lobby MK Kish added: "We will withstand the greatest pressures. We'll stand up for our truth, and stand at the gate of the city that was built to protect the eastern gate of our capital, Jerusalem. To clarify, this is not an isolated move. This is the opening salvo in the fight for Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samara. Ma'ale Adumim is the first stop in a long journey to strengthen the Zionist endeavor."

MK Smotrich, the other Chariman of the lobby, stated that "this move is supposed to reflect a broader shift towards promoting solutions that are based on unifying the land. Whoever wants to bring about peace and coexistence, must abandon ideas of dividing the land and move towards uniting the land. Today we start with Ma'ale Adumim, and later we'll get to talking about all of Judea and Samaria."

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked claimed that "we need to make clear to Israeli citizens and the world that Ma'ale Adumim must be developed. The coalition is united in the goal of developing Judea and Samaria and Ma'ale Adumim. I very much hope we'll see the day when we'll be able to accomplish that."

Mayor of Ma'ale Adumim Benny Kashriel said that "the time for sovereignty has come because there was always a consensus about Ma'ale Adumim. First this city and then all of the Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria. The time for sovereignty has come because there is support from a majority of MKs from the coalition and the opposition, and a majority in the Ministerial Committees. It's time, because 80% of the general public want it and the moment we start being strong in our beliefs the world will be with us."