As we reported, the Greater Jerusalem bill drafted by Likud MK Yoav Kish and Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich, that aimed to annex the West Bank settlements located north, south, and east of Jerusalem to municipality of jerusalem (Ma’ale Adumim, Givat Zeev and the settlements in the Etzion bloc), was put on hold before moving to second reading on October 30, 2017 — thanks in large part, it seems, to U.S. pressure.

On January 1, 2018, the Likud Central Committee passed a resolution urging lawmakers to advance the bill. The most prominent Likud figures supported the decision, with the quiet consent of Netanyahu. This decision by Likud’s most important body is significant, aimed to “force” Netanyahu to move the legislation in the Knesset, with undertaken with his full knowledge and approval.a