Referendum bill on ceding territory advances


Israeli lawmakers advanced a measure requiring a national referendum before ceding Israeli-controlled territory.


The bill passed the first of three readings in the Knesset, 65-18.

It also allows the withdrawal from territory with a two-thirds majority approval, or 80 lawmakers.


The measure only covers areas over which Israel has full sovereignty, including the Golan Heights and Jerusalem. It does not include the West Bank.


The vote coincides with the scheduled third round of indirect peace talks between Israel and Syria, the centerpiece of which is Syria’s demand that Israel return the Golan Heights.

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