On Monday evening the Israeli Knesset approved by preliminary reading a new law barring any withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories without a referendum or an approval; by a minimum of two thirds Knesset majority.

The law passed by a margin of 65 members of the Knesset to 18.

It states that any withdrawal from areas that are under Israeli control should be subject to a referendum, general elections, or an approval by at least 80 members of Knesset.

The Knesset also approved another law barring any resident from being a candidate if he/she visits an “enemy state”.

Jamal Zahalka, head of the parliamentarian block of the National Democratic Assembly, said that the law proves that Israel has not matured yet and is not ready for a political settlement to the conflict.

Zahalka also stated that the law places more obstacles in front of the peace process and transforms peace talks into maneuvers to run the conflict instead of resolving it.

He added that occupation is not an internal Israeli issue to be decided by the Knesset, and that this issue should be an international case governed by the international law and the international legitimacy.

“This vote is a test for Israel and its intentions”, Zahalka stated, “This vote is an official Israeli declaration that it rejects political solutions”.

The Knesset also approved another law barring any resident who visited a “hostile state” from running for Knesset elections.

The law was presented by member of Knesset, Zbolon Orlev, member of the Ichud Leumi – Mafdal party, and Esterina Tartman, from the Yisrael Beitenu party.

 MK Zahalka said that Israel is trying to bar the Arab residents and Arab members of Knesset from holding any talks or communication with their Arab nation. He added that this law is mainly targeted Arab MK’s who visited Syria and Lebanon.