Sovereignty vote postponed ‘for a few days,’ says senior Likud minister

January 30, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) said on Wednesday that a plan to extend Israeli sovereignty to the settlements and the Jordan Valley won’t be brought to the Cabinet for a vote on Sunday, as urged by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, because the government needs more time to prepare.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the press regarding the extension of Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley, in Ramat Gan, on Sept. 10, 2019. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90.

Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit would need “a few days” to prepare before the process of extending sovereignty can be initiated, Levin told Israel Radio. The minister promised that while the process would not begin on Sunday, “it will happen in the near future.”

The Sunday vote was set by Netanyahu from Washington, D.C., following the unveiling of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East Peace plan.

Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday warned against postponing the vote, posting on Twitter: “If we postpone or reduce the extension of sovereignty, then the opportunity of the century will turn into the loss of the century.”

“That which is postponed until after the elections will never happen,” he said.

Israel’s third round of Knesset elections is set for March 2.

In a rare show of solidarity with the prime minister, Avigdor Lieberman has said his Yisrael Beiteinu party would join Shas, United Torah Judaism, New Right, Jewish Home and National Union in supporting Netanyahu should he decide to extend sovereignty to parts of the Jordan Valley, Judea or Samaria.

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