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Israeli cabinet approves peace-talk referendum bill

English.news.cn   2013-07-28 19:47:07            
 • Israel approved draft law under which peace agreement with Palestinians will be brought to a referendum.
 • The bill will now be referred to the Knesset (parliament) on Wednesday for an approval.
 • Netanyahu worked swiftly to get the bill approved amid the renewal of the peace talks.

 

JERUSALEM, July 28 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli cabinet on Sunday approved a governmental draft law under which any peace agreement with the Palestinians would be brought to a referendum, a statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said.

The bill, entitled "Basic Law: Referendum" will now be referred to the Knesset (parliament) on Wednesday for an approval.

A basic law means a fundamental law that could only be revoked with the support of 61 lawmakers in the parliament.

Netanyahu worked swiftly to get the bill approved amid the renewal of the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians on Tuesday in Washington.

Netanyahu is trying to please his hawkish coalition members and ease public opinion, as Israel will be required to make concessions to the Palestinians amid the fresh talks.

The concessions include the release of more than 100 Palestinian prisoners as well as a possible halt in the construction of the West Bank settlements, among others.

"Any agreement, if one shall be reached in the negotiations, will be brought to a referendum," Netanyahu said, according to the statement.

"It's important that on these crucial decisions every citizen will vote directly in a matter that will decide on the future of the state," he said.

Last week, hawkish Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennet, from the ultra-nationalistic "Jewish Home" Party threatened that if Netanyahu doesn't legislate the bill soon, his party members will vote against the state budget in the parliament.

Related:

Dozens of Israelis protest against Palestinian prisoners release

JERUSALEM, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Dozens of Israelis rallied on Sunday in Jerusalem to protest against the parliament's upcoming vote on the release of 104 Palestinian prisoners, which is considered as a goodwill gesture toward the Palestinian government, local media reported.

The protesters, including families of Israelis killed in terror attacks, demonstrated in front of the government's offices to show their disagreement ahead of the vote.  Full story

Editor: Yang Lina
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