Israeli court's move could dampen peace prospects with Palestinians

A move by an Israeli court on Tuesday could allow the country’s conservative Likud Party to debate Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace plan, and possibly block the prime minister from conceding on issues in the deal.

The Tel Aviv District Court accepted a petition by Likud Party member Danny Danon, which would allow the party to debate Kerry’s draft plan, according to Haaretz.

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Danon serves as deputy defense minister to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is chairman of the Likud Party.

The court’s ruling means Danon can convene Likud’s central committee next month to hold votes on issues Netanyahu is against. Some of the votes would likely include issues relating to territorial concessions, which is at the heart of peace negotiations Kerry is moderating.

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Danon’s petition comes after the party’s internal court ruled Likud couldn’t change its regulations or hold debates on contentious issues at its convention.

“We have proved that democracy is Likud’s way,” Danon said following the decision, Haaretz reports. “We will maintain the party’s democratic nature throughout and ensure that the largest party in the Knesset and its last bastion of democracy will stay loyal to its values.”

The State Department has not yet released the framework Kerry and negotiators from both sides have been drafting. 

On Friday, however, the Palestinian Authority told The Times of Israel it rejects parts of Kerry’s plan.

Kerry aims to strike a final peace deal by the end of April. He reinvigorated talks between both sides last July.