Legislation preventing the division of Jerusalem in a possible peace deal is advancing through the Knesset, making it increasingly unlikely that the holy city will become a Palestinian capital in the future.
Nicknamed the “United Jerusalem Bill”, the bill was approved on Sunday morning by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, allowing it to continue through to the Knesset floor.
First proposed by Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home), the bill places a large legal stumbling block before any parties hoping to split Jerusalem into separate Israeli and Palestinian territories in pursuit of a peace deal.
If the bill is passed, a supermajority, or three-fourths, of Knesset members will be required to approve any negotiations calling for Jerusalem’s division, rather than the usual majority. Gaining the approval of three-fourths of the Knesset would be a difficult task.
Bennett has said that the move would make clear, before the start of any diplomatic process, that Jerusalem “will never be divided under any circumstance.”
“Unity around the United Jerusalem Bill will strengthen our status in the world and prevent future pressure on Israel,” he said on Sunday in response to the Committee’s decision.
The Palestinians have long demanded sovereignty over the holy sites of Jerusalem, including the Old City, the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives, as a starting point for negotiations.
Lately, the Arab world has enlisted the help of international bodies such as the United Nations in its attempt to deny and delegitimize the Jewish claim to Jerusalem, which extends to Biblical times.
The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine, for ye are strangers and sojourners with me. Leviticus 25:23
As clearly as it is stated in the Bible, there remain many who do not accept God’s word as pertains to Israel and Jerusalem.