OCCUPIED AL-QUDS (Dispatches) – Israeli ministers gave initial approval Sunday to a bill aimed at making it more difficult for the Zionist regime to hand the Palestinians parts of Jerusalem Al-Quds as part of a future deal.
The bill, proposed by Shuli Moalem-Refaeli of the far-right Jewish Home, determines that any ceding of lands considered by the occupying regime of to be part of Jerusalem Al-Quds would necessitate a two-thirds majority vote in parliament.
Members of the ministerial committee for legislation approved the bill ahead of a series of discussions and votes in parliament.
"The united Jerusalem (Al-Quds) bill we initiated just passed unanimously," Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett wrote on his Facebook page.
Moalem-Refaeli said in the bill's explanatory notes that it sought to "fortify Jerusalem's unified status, safeguard its future and protect the security of its residents".
The Zionist regime occupied east Jerusalem Al-Quds and the West Bank in 1967. It later annexed east Jerusalem Al-Quds in a move never recognized by the international community.
It claims all of Al-Quds as its united capital, while the Palestinians see the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.
The issue is among the most contentious in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Zionist PM Benjamin Netanyahu's current coalition regime is seen as the most right-wing in the occupying entity’s history.
On Sunday, Al-Aqsa mosque officials rejected new security measures put in place by the Zionist regime as it reopened the holy site following a deadly gun battle that prompted a two-day closure.
Muslim religious authorities, who administer the compound, refused to pray at the compound there after Israeli authorities installed metal detectors and additional close-circuit television cameras.
"The closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the occupation in itself and the prevention of the call for prayers are all unfair and unjust and constitute a violation to the United Nations resolutions and the international agreements," Omar Kiswani, director of al-Aqsa mosque, told reporters outside the site.
"We hold the Israeli regime responsible for the changes they have made in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and taking its control away from us. We will stay outside the mosque until we get back the way it was taken from us."
The site was shut down during Friday prayers when five people were killed in a shootout - the first time the compound had been closed for prayers in 48 years.
"What happened does not justify this," Abu Mohammed, who works at a small medical clinic inside the compound, told Al Jazeera. "This is our mosque and we refuse to enter through any electronic gate, this can never be imposed on us."
Netanyahu announced the additional security measures on Saturday, saying they gave the occupying regime "almost complete control over what goes on" in the compound, to prevent future attacks.
Earlier in the day, Kiswani told Voice of Palestine radio station the additional security measures were part of a "dangerous and unprecedented move" by Israeli authorities "to impose control over Al-Aqsa Mosque".
The Zionist regime’s unilateral decision also triggered anger from authorities in Jordan, the custodian of the holy site.
The Jordanian government released a statement on Friday demanding Israel immediately open the mosque and warning against steps that could "change the historic status quo in Al-Quds and the mosque".
Proposals to change security measures at the compound have sparked controversy in the past. Palestinians have long feared what they see as Israeli moves to change the status quo at the holy site.
Daoud Kuttab, columnist at Al Monitor, told Al Jazeera that he expects the tensions to escalate.
"This is a very worrisome change," Kuttab said of Israel's decision not to consult Jordanian authorities of its decision to impose new security measures.
"It sounds like it is going to be troublesome for the days to come," he said. "Those who killed the soldiers are not from the West Bank or Jerusalem Al-Quds.”
Daniel Levy, a former Israeli negotiator, told Al Jazeera that the occupying regime’s unilateral response was only "exacerbating" the situation.
"But what are you doing with regards to the broader conflict that leads to this situation in the first place," he asked. "In that respect, what we have is a situation, where for good reason neither the Palestinians or the Jordanians have faith in the Israeli side."
Since the Zionist regime occupied East Al-Quds in 1967, Israeli authorities have maintained an agreement with the Islamic Endowment that runs the mosque compound. Non-Muslims are allowed to visit the site, but are not allowed to pray.
The mosque compound is known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif while Jews call it Temple Mount.