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Israeli Knesset gives initial OK for referendum on peace

Aug. 1, 2013 at 7:31 AM
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JERUSALEM, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- The Israeli Knesset early Thursday approved the first reading of a bill requiring a public referendum on any future peace deal with the Palestinians.

The bill, supported by 66 Knesset members with 45 voting against, gives constitutional status to the issue in the Supreme Court, The Jerusalem Post said. The bill refers to any future peace treaty with the Palestinians that would require Israel to give up sovereign territory, Israeli media reports said.

Sovereign territory does not include the West Bank but includes all of Jerusalem and any land swaps, The Jerusalem Post said. The referendum would be on the entire peace treaty, not just the concession of sovereign territory, and could include giving away parts of the West Bank, the paper noted.

The bill was approved by the Cabinet Sunday. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed full support for the measure after Naftali Bennett, the Economy and Trade minister, asked that it be promoted.

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