Times of Israel — The cabinet approved on Sunday a bill that requires a public referendum on any future peace deal with the Palestinians that would have Israel give up sovereign territory. The bill covers all of Israel, the Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem, but does not relate to the West Bank, which was never annexed by Israel. “I believe that resuming the political process at this time is important for Israel,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said before the vote. “Every agreement reached in negotiations will be determined in a referendum. It is important that in fateful decisions like these every citizen will vote directly in matters that determine the future of the state.”
Chairman of the coalition Yariv Levin (Likud), who sponsored the bill, expressed his satisfaction at the result of the cabinet vote. “It is a historic decision that will help preserve unity in the people and prevent buying votes in order to squeeze through controversial decisions,” he said. “I am sure that the public will not support giving up parts of the homeland.” Meretz leader Zahava Galon criticized Netanyahu for seeking cabinet approval for the bill, and scorned the prime minister as too cowardly to lead the country to a peace deal.