Photo Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash90
Then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks about implementing Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, September 10, 2019.

The Land of Israel Caucus of the Knesset proposed a bill on Monday to apply sovereignty to all Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, not just the 30 percent laid out in U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan.

The Caucus is a large lobby group made up of right-wing coalition and opposition lawmakers.


According to a Channel 12 report, the bill—presented by members of Knesset Haim Katz (Likud) and Bezalel Smotrich (Yamina)—seeks to “create a mechanism for the preservation of non-sovereign territory, and for the prevention of Arab or international takeover” of territories in Area C [that the Oslo Accords determined would gradually be transferred to Palestinian jurisdiction] outside the “sovereignty map.”

“The time for sovereignty came long ago,” said Caucus chairman Katz. “I hope that Israel takes advantage of the window of opportunity with the Americans, and that all parts of the government will mobilize for the cause.”

He went on: “The more we procrastinate, the more complicated the reality on the ground will become, as the national mission to exercise our historic right in the land of our ancestors may be in jeopardy, and this we cannot allow.”

Smotrich said that “it was only a few years ago that our lobby put the sovereignty laws on the Knesset table and made this a main issue on the Israeli government agenda.”

“The partnership between all the right-wing elements in the coalition and the opposition to advance this bill is in line, and we will work together to advance it for the continued fulfillment of the Zionist vision,” he said.

Following the establishment of the current Israeli government in April, Netanyahu announced that he would begin the process of extending sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and parts of Judea and Samaria on July 1.

Since then, multiple reports in the Hebrew press suggest that the Trump administration is waiting for Defense Minister Benny Gantz, head of the Blue and White Party that is Likud’s key coalition partner, to be fully on board with the details of the move before proceeding. Other reports say the White House keeps introducing new demands on Israel in exchange for a green light to go ahead.

Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin (Likud) said in a private conversation, according to Army Radio, that the Trump administration is not interested in moving forward with sovereignty at the moment, as it is dealing with more pressing issues.


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