JERUSALEM (JTA) — A bill aimed at applying Israeli law on West Bank settlements was rejected by a Knesset committee.
The bill proposed to the Ministerial Committee on Legislation by Likud lawmaker Miri Regev would have removed Israeli settlements from military rule and effectively annexed them.
In Sunday’s vote, nine lawmakers opposed the bill — including most of the committee’s Likud members — and five abstained in an unexpected turnaround of several members who had originally said they would support the bill. They reportedly changed their votes after Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman asked Regev to postpone the vote, and after learning that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu planned to vote against the bill.
Netanyahu reportedly did not want to go head to head with the Obama administration over the settlements at this time.
The bill can be resubmitted in six months.