Israeli Parliament Backs Opposition’s Bills on Jerusalem, Refugees
The Israeli parliament voted overwhelmingly Wednesday in favor of opposition bills on two of the thorniest issues in peace talks with the Palestinians -- the boundaries of Jerusalem and the return of Palestinian refugees.
The so-called Jerusalem bill proposed by the rightwing Likud opposition party calls for any change to Jerusalem's borders and transfer of areas inside to a "foreign element" to require a special majority of 61 MPs.
A total of 68 members of the 120-member parliament, including members of Prime Minister Ehud Barak's coalition, voted for the bill during a preliminary vote, and 21 voted against.
The second Likud bill aimed at preventing the return of the 3.5 million Palestinian refugees to land under Israeli sovereignty was passed by 66 to 22 with one abstention.
The vote was broadcast live on Israeli television – OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AFP)
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