Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017. (Gali Tibbon, Pool via AP)
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U.S. pressure delayed an Israeli ministerial vote Sunday on a proposed bill that Washington fears entails the annexation of Jewish settlements near Jerusalem, an Israeli lawmaker said.Proponents of the legislation say it falls short of formal land annexation to Israel but will enable some 150,000 settlers to vote in Jerusalem city elections.Israeli media reports said the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, had conveyed misgivings about the legislation, under which the large Maale Adumim and Beitar Illit settlements would become part of a Greater Jerusalem municipality.Some 500,000 Israelis live in the both-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem areas, home to more than 2.6 million Palestinians.According to Israeli NGO Hamoked, since renewing the policy in 2014 and until the end of 2016, Israel has carried out punitive demolitions of 35 homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and sealed another seven homes in the two territories.
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