Jerusalem expansion bill 'distracts' parties from peace

A view of construction in the West Bank settlement of Efrat

"It's fair to say that the U.S.is discouraging actions that it believes will unduly distract the principals from focusing on the advancement of peace negotiations".

A bill before the Israeli parliament which would have secured a Jewish majority in Jerusalem has been delayed, following pressure from the United States and concerns it would allow Israel to annex large parts of the West Bank. "The Jerusalem expansion bill was considered by the administration to be one of those actions", the senior official told JTA. President Donald Trump's special envoy to the peace process, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But Likud member David Bitan, chairperson of Netanyahu's coalition in parliament, said a vote by the cabinet committee would be delayed because Washington told Israel the bill's passage could impede USA efforts to revive peace talks that collapsed in 2014.

'Mr Turnbull's too arrogant for that and because of his arrogance and his poor judgment, we've now got the current turmoil, ' Mr Shorten told reporters in Jerusalem on Sunday night. The release said they discussed issues facing Israel and how to bolster the relationship between the country and Wisconsin. We have to take the time to clarify matters to the Americans. But in the occupied West Bank, anger is continuing over illegal Israeli settlements.

The worldwide community is widely opposed to settlement construction. The bill has drawn harsh criticism from Palestinians and those hoping to salvage the two-state solution.




The Greater Jerusalem Bill would increase the city's Jewish population by about 100,000, by including four large Jewish settlements - Ma'ale Adumim, Beitar Illit, Efrat and Givat Zeev, as well as the Gush Etzion bloc.

The "Greater Jerusalem Bill" as it's being called is expected to pass. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the worldwide community.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a state they seek to establish in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israeli media have reported that the US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, had conveyed "misgivings" about the legislation.

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