Opposition Parties Mount Bill to Prevent Jordan Valley Annexation

YERUSHALAYIM -
Houses can be seen at the Jewish community of Maale Efraim in the Jordan Valley on Wednesday. The region has become the center of a hot dispute over possible annexation by Israel. (REUTERS/ Baz Ratner)
Houses can be seen at the Jewish community of Maale Efraim in the Jordan Valley on Wednesday. The region has become the center of a hot dispute over possible annexation by Israel. (REUTERS/ Baz Ratner)

Opposition parties struck back against a proposal to annex the Jordan Valley on Wednesday with their own bill to prevent such action, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The “Two States Bill,” proposed by Labor MK Hilik Bar and supported by MKs from Labor, Meretz and Shas, says that the final status of Yehuda and Shomron can be determined only within the framework of a two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinians.

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation, which voted to endorse Likud MK Miri Regev’s bill to extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, will consider Bar’s on Sunday with an eye to bringing it to a Knesset vote next Wednesday.

Annexing the Jordan Valley would “sabotage Israel in the diplomatic negotiations, harm the efforts of the prime minister to come to a two-state solution, and deepen the rift that already exists between us and the U.S.,” a statement issued by Labor said.

Bar noted acidly that within the coalition “there seems to be some sort of competition as to who can more damage Israel and the prime minister’s efforts to achieve peace and to navigate their way through these negotiations.”

Sources close to chief peace negotiator Tzipi Livni gave comfort to neither side, saying that “any bill proposal, whether from the Left or the Right, that is meant to tie the government’s hands or restrict its authority to make diplomatic decisions, will grant the MKs headlines for one day, but will not receive the government’s support.”