Netanyahu Holds Up Annexation Bill to Coordinate With White House

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delayed consideration of a legislative proposal to annex Jewish communities in Yehudah and Shomron, pending consultation with the White House, The Times of Israel reported on Thursday.

A spokesman for a senior member on the Knesset’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation told The Times of Israel that Netanyahu wants to coordinate the measure with the Trump administration before advancing it further, but that it would still be debated by coalition leaders in their own meeting scheduled for Sunday.

The proposal, authored by Yoav Kisch (Likud) and Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home), seeks to apply Israeli sovereignty over all Jewish population blocs in Yehudah and Shomron, which are currently under military control. It follows a resolution along the same lines adopted unanimously at a special Likud Central Committee meeting about a month ago.

Netanyahu’s decision was not welcomed on the right. Eighteen council chairmen in Yehudah and Shomron signed a letter Thursday initiated by the Yesha council, urging the prime minister to advance the legislation.

“We recognize your historic opportunity to lead this important step, and ask that you allow the bill to be discussed and approved at the upcoming Ministerial Committee for Legislation meeting,” the letter stated.

Netanyahu was said to have ordered freezing the proposal within hours after the letter went out.