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August 1, 2013 10:46 am

Knesset Endorses Referendum on Territorial Concessions

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The Israeli Knesset. Photo: Wiki Commons.

Times of Israel – The Knesset early Thursday morning approved the first reading of a bill that requires a public referendum on any future peace deal with the Palestinians that would have Israel give up sovereign territory. The vote, 66 in favor and 45 against, was the last of the parliament’s summer session and followed a long night of marathon readings.

The bill covers all of Israel, the Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem, but does not relate to the West Bank, which was never annexed by Israel. It coincides with the resumption of long-dormant peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in Washington. Any deal with the Palestinians would involve Israel pulling out of much of the West Bank; unlike the Golan Heights, the Old City and East Jerusalem, also captured in 1967, Israeli law was never extended to the area.

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