Israeli Bill Aims to Expand Jerusalem Border for Settlements

Move a Backdoor Annexation of Settlement Bloc

A bill pushed by a top Likud minister proposes to re-draw the borders of Jerusalem and create a “Greater Jerusalem” that would include several settlement blocs in the occupied West Bank.

Yisrael Katz, the bill’s author, says it would celebrate the 47 year anniversary of the “unification” of Jerusalem. Israel conquered East Jerusalem in 1967 and annexed in 1980 on the grounds that the city is an “eternal and undivided” capital of Israel.

Eternal but growing, it seems, as the bill doesn’t specifically say so, but many believe it amounts to a de facto annexation of the new areas, since Israel has repeatedly stated it considers Jerusalem part of its territory. All of Jerusalem, no matter how big it gets.

Since the collapse of peace talks a month and a half ago, hawks in the government have sought to annex large portions of the West Bank to punish the Palestinians. This bill may be a compromise bill in that regard, taking a few neighborhoods in a backdoor annexation process.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.