By Tovah Lazaroff, Jerusalem Post—
MK Yehudah Glick (Likud) plans to submit to the Knesset this week a private member’s bill to annex the settlements around Jerusalem.
It follows on the heels of a similar bill to annex the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, which already has been submitted but not approved for government support by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation.
Glick’s bill would include Ma’aleh Adumim, as well as the settlement of Givat Ze’ev, Geva Binyamin (Adam), Psagot, Ma’aleh Michmash and the Gush Etzion bloc.
It would cover at least one third of the 386,000 settlers in Judea and Samaria, based on 2015 data from the Central Bureau of Statistics.
Glick’s spokesman said the bill has the support of Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely and Transportation Minister Israel Katz, both of the Likud.
The legislation is part of a flurry of annexation initiatives settlers and right-wing politicians have promoted since US President Donald Trump was sworn into office on January 20.
Glick said placing these communities within sovereign Israel would strengthen Jerusalem and remove the idea of a Palestinian state from the agenda.
He noted that Israel would soon mark the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, in which Judea and Samaria were liberated, saying it also should be “the year of sovereignty.”
It is not enough to settle for applying sovereignty to Ma’aleh Adumim, he added.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has discouraged annexation attempts, preferring a more moderate path forward in which the US would support construction within the settlement blocs.