Likud seeks to delay annexation bill

Coalition chairman asks Jewish Home to postpone vote on sovereignty over Maaleh Adumim.

Hezki Baruch ,

David Bitan
David Bitan
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Coalition chairman MK David Bitan (Likud) on Monday asked the Jewish Home party to postpone the vote on the bill to apply Israeli sovereignty over Maaleh Adumim.

Bitan asked to delay the vote on the bill for three months, likely due to the desire of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to formulate policies with the Trump administration regarding Judea and Samaria.

MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) addressed the issue on Twitter on Monday evening, writing, “There is no justification in hiding from our friend overseas the public and political support for Israeli sovereignty over Maaleh Adumim. The law remains on the agenda.”

Just last week, Minister Ze'ev Elkin (Likud) opined that annexation at present would lead to a crisis in relations with the U.S.

“We don't need to receive messages from them to understand that the Americans will not be gratified if we surprise them and declare sovereignty [over Judea and Samaria]," said Elkin on Army Radio.

The comments came in response to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who said at a Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting that "anyone who wants to apply Israeli sovereignty to Judea and Samaria needs to understand that such a step will bring immediate repercussions from the new U.S. government.”

Liberman's statement led to sharp criticism from right-wing Knesset members from the Land of Israel lobby, which termed Liberman’s comments “scare-mongering” and “intimidation”.