Israel’s Security Cabinet voted on Sunday to delay discussion on a proposal to annex one of the largest Israeli cities in Judea and Samaria until after the Prime Minister meets with newly sworn-in President Donald Trump.
The bill, which would extend Israeli law over the city of Maale Adumim, just east of Jerusalem, was pushed off in a unanimous vote as ministers ruled Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should meet with the new American administration before altering the status quo in Judea and Samaria.
If passed, the law would represent the first step Israel has taken since 1967 to extend its sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria, when the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem were enlarged.
Netanyahu is slated to visit Washington in late March, though sources close to the Prime Minister have indicated he is looking to meet with President Trump early in February, Yediot Aharonot reported.
On Sunday the White House announced that President Trump would speak with Netanyahu by phone later that day, in their first conversation since the inauguration.
MK Yoav Kish (Likud), one of the drafters of the annexation bill, said he disagreed with the decision by the cabinet to push off the vote, though he understood the reasoning behind the move.
“I didn’t agree to remove the bill from the agenda, though I understand the delicacy [required] in dealing with a new government [in the White House],” said Kish. “In my opinion, it would have been better to pass the bill in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, and then hold off on a vote by the full Knesset until after updating President Trump. That being said, I’ve accepted the Security Cabinet’s decision for the time being.”