Israel set to cede parts of Jerusalem in peace deal
Israel set a higher threshold on Tuesday for any future vote on ceding parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinians.
Palestinians wanted the eastern part of the city for a future independent state.
The amendment passed by the Israeli parliament to existing legislation raised from 61 to 80 the number of votes that would be required in the 120-seat Knesset to approve any proposal to hand over part of the city to "a foreign party".
The amendment, long in the legislative pipeline, comes less than a month after United States President angered the Palestinians, Middle East leaders and world powers by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
US negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have been frozen since 2014 but, if ever resumed, a special Israeli parliament majority to approve handing over parts of Jerusalem could complicate efforts to reach a peace accord.
US President’s December 6 decision touched off protests in the region and the Palestinians have said Washington can no longer serve as a peace broker.
Palestinian officials were not immediately available for comment on the new amendment, which passed by a vote of 64 to 52.
The status of Jerusalem is one of the most sensitive issues in the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in a move not recognised internationally.
It says the entire city is its "eternal and indivisible" capital.
Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future state that would also include the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Parliamentary elections are not due until November 2019 but the police investigations in two cases of alleged corruption against Netanyahu and tensions among coalition partners in his government could hasten a poll.