[Sunday December 29, 2013] Israeli Ynet News has reported that the Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved a bill calling for annexing the occupied West Bank’s Jordan Valley, and for it to remain under Israeli sovereignty, under any peace agreement with the Palestinians. The Ynet said that Member of Knesset, Miri Regev, of the Likud Party of Benjamin Netanyahu, submitted the bill. Regev is a former Brigadier General of the Israeli army and a former spokeswoman of the army.
Eight Israeli ministers approved the bill, while several ministers said they would appeal and block the process to prevent the bill from becoming a law.
Regev submitted the bill to ensure that peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank would never contribute to a full Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories, especially the Jordan Valley, and occupied East Jerusalem.
The Ministers who supported the bill are members of the Likud Party of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in addition to members of Israel Our Home (Yisrael Beitenu) and the Jewish Home (Habayit Hayehudi) fundamentalist parties.
The Israeli news agency quoted Israel’s Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar stating that Israeli settlements and security carry the same importance, and alleged that the Israelis agree on the importance of keeping the Jordan Valley under Israel’s sovereignty at all times, and under any political agreement.
Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri appealed the bill.
Livni said she was surprised that bills regarding taxes are delayed for further debates, while a bill which would just harm Israel’s interests receives a quick approval, the Ynet added.
Commenting on the Israeli bill, Chief Palestinian Negotiator Dr. Saeb Erekat said that this bill, and Israel’s ongoing violations and settlement activities, are destroying the chances of achieving peace, and the attempts of US Secretary Of State John Kerry to reach the goal.
The West Bank, and occupied East Jerusalem, are internationally recognized as territories under Israeli occupation.
Israel’s settlements and its Annexation Wall are also illegal under International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory.
On July 30, 1980, Israel approved the “Jerusalem Law”, illegally and unilaterally annexing occupied East Jerusalem, captured in 1967, to be “the part of greater Jerusalem, the united capital”.
On August 20, 1980, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution number 478, considering the Israeli decision as invalid.
The resolution was one of seven resolutions condemning Israel’s ongoing attempts to annex Jerusalem. Israel ignored all resolutions.
Resolution 478, passed by 14 votes to none, with the United States abstaining, said “The Council will not recognize this law, and calls on member states to accept the decision of the council. This resolution also calls upon member states to withdraw their diplomatic missions from the city.”
Jordan Valley Annexation Sees First Approvals
Erekat calls for international solidarity
Chris Carlson – IMEMC News – Mon, 30 Dec 2013 00:28:18
Israel’s Ministerial Committee for Legislative Affairs, on Sunday, approved the draft for the annexation of the Jordan Valley. The bill will go before the Knesset and, if voted in favor of, Israeli settlements in the Jordan Valley, with all of the roads leading to them, will be under full Israeli control, and included as part of the territory of the State of Israel.
Radio Bethlehem 2000 reports that Chief PLO negotiator, Saeb Erekat, has described the decision as an effort to destroy the peace process and, specifically, the efforts of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and that this is an indication of the extent of the Israeli government’s disregard for both international law and the efforts of the Diplomatic Quartet.
He added, after refusing annexation of the Golan, that the mere inclusion of the valleys to be occupied in this way, is a sign that the Netanyahu government is flouting international law, and called for immediate international accountability on the decision.
Al Rai and Erekat further stated that the Palestinian response will now be to take up arms, along the 1967 borders of the Palestinian state, as the only way to deal with the Israeli government.