Report: Trump Asked PM to Hold Off on Maale Adumim Annexation Vote

YERUSHALAYIM -
View of Maale Adumim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over the weekend asked Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett to hold off on introducing a bill for the annexation of Maale Adumim, that Jewish Home MKs had planned to present to the Ministerial Law Committee Sunday. According to media reports, the request by Netanyahu came after the Prime Minister told Bennett that sources in the new Trump administration had asked that Israel not introduce new legislation without consulting with officials first.

According to Haaretz, in a conversation between the two Friday, Bennett told Netanyahu that he had long sought a discussion on what the government’s policy would be in the era of the new administration. In response, Netanyahu said that the cabinet would discuss the issue in Sunday’s meeting, in lieu of introducing the bill in the legislative process.

As a compromise, government sources told Haaretz that the Ministerial Law Committee would discuss the bill, but not vote on it. Afterwards, the cabinet will discuss overall settlement policy. In a statement Saturday night, Bennett said that “we are in a new era. For the first time in 50 years, it is the government’s choice to decide – either sovereignty in Yehuda and Shomron, or a state of Palestine. The latter would be tragedy for the generations.”

Among the guests at Friday’s inauguration ceremony in Washington were the mayors of Efrat and Maale Adumim – both of whom were invited by the staff of President Trump for the occasion. This is the first time since the 1980s that officials from Yehuda and Shomron have been invited to a Presidential inauguration, said Yigal Dalmoni, deputy director of the Yehuda and Shomron Council.