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Israeli bill seeks to safeguard control of Jerusalem

© AFP | A general view taken on May 31, 2017 shows the city of Jerusalem with the Western Wall(L) the Dome of the Rock (C)and the Al-Aqsa Mosque(R


Israeli ministers gave initial approval Sunday to a bill aimed at making it more difficult for the government to hand the Palestinians parts of Jerusalem as part of a future peace deal.

The bill, proposed by Shuli Moalem-Refaeli of the far-right Jewish Home, determines that any ceding of lands considered by Israel to be part of Jerusalem would necessitate a two-thirds majority vote in parliament.

Members of the ministerial committee for legislation approved the bill ahead of a series of discussions and votes in parliament.

"The united Jerusalem bill we initiated just passed unanimously," Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett wrote on his Facebook page.

Moalem-Refaeli said in the bill's explanatory notes that it sought to "fortify Jerusalem's unified status, safeguard its future and protect the security of its residents".

Israel occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the international community.

It claims all of Jerusalem as its united capital, while the Palestinians see the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.

The issue is among the most contentious in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's current coalition government is seen as the most right-wing in the country's history.

Key government ministers oppose a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

© 2017 AFP