USA pressure behind delay in vote for 'Greater Jerusalem Bill'

A view of construction in the West Bank settlement of Efrat

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday delayed a vote on the legislation due to American pressure, according to reports. President Donald Trump's special envoy to the peace process, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But the Israeli official said on condition of anonymity that the bill needs "diplomatic preparation", declining to elaborate further.

The law stops short of annexing West Bank territory to Israel, and its practical implications are unclear.

Ynet News reported a senior American official saying that "the USA is discouraging actions that it believes will unduly distract the principals from focusing on the advancement of peace negotiations".

The Greater Jerusalem legislation would bring some Jewish settlements built in the Palestinian West Bank under the jurisdiction of Jerusalem's municipal authority.

Barzani stepping down as Kurdish leader in Iraq
Political life in Kurdistan is dominated by the KDP and PUK of Iraq's late president Jalal Talabani. Kurds voted overwhelmingly for independence, but won little sympathy outside their region.

"I enjoyed the opportunity to have a wide-ranging conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu about some of the serious issues facing his country, as well as focus on ways to bolster the strong relationship that already exists between Wisconsin and Israel", Governor Walker said. David Bitan, chairman of Netanyahu's governing coalition, told Israel's army radio on Sunday that "there's American pressure that says that it's a case of annexation". "We are working to promote and develop the settlement enterprise", it quoted Netanyahu as saying at a government meeting Sunday.

Israel captured East Jerusalem, the Old City and the West Bank from Jordan in 1967, and extended sovereignty to the Old City and East Jerusalem in 1980, in a move never recognized by the worldwide community.

For the vast majority of the global community, the status of Israel 's settlements, built on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state, is to be decided in peace negotiations.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a state they seek to establish in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Settlements affected are Maale Adumim, Beitar Illit, Efrat, Givat Zeev, and the Gush Etzion settlement bloc.

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