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Law requiring referendum on land withdrawal passes Israeli Cabinet

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli Cabinet approved a measure that would require a public referendum or vote on any peace agreement that involves withdrawing from land Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The Cabinet approved the legislation, which will create a new Basic Law, at its regular meeting on Sunday.

The legislation will be brought to a vote of the full Knesset on Wednesday for a first reading.

“It is important that every citizen have a direct vote on fateful decisions such as these that will determine the future of the state,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Cabinet before the vote.

The legislation only refers to land under Israel’s sovereign control, meaning  a referendum will not have to be held in order to give areas of the West Bank to the Palestinians. Any peace deal that requires giving away parts of Jerusalem or the Golan Heights, or land swaps, will have to be put to a popular vote.

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