Greater Yerushalayim Bill Introduced in Knesset

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu and minister of Transport Yisrael Katz. (Ohad Zweigenberg/POOL)

Proposed legislation for “Greater Yerushalayim” has been placed on the agenda of the Knesset.

The bill’s sponsor, Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz, declared that “adding Greater Yerushalayim towns to Yerushalayim will strengthen the status of the city as the eternal, united and complete capital of Israel, and will send a clear message to anyone trying to undermine the connection of the Jewish People to Yerushalayim, or that Yerushalayim belongs to the Jewish People.”

The bill would add Gush Etzion, Efrat, Betar Illit, Givat Zeev and Maaleh Adumim – home to about 150,000 Israelis – to the capital’s municipal boundaries. Arab villages in the area that lie outside the separation barrier, with about 100,000 residents, would become an independent municipality within Greater Yerushalayim.

It would allow residents in those areas to vote in Yerushalayim elections while retaining municipal autonomy, and still be able to vote in local elections as well.