The Knesset plenum Wednesday passed in preliminary reading a draft law extending state funding of museums in the West Bank. Legislators also approved, in preliminary reading, a bill waiving museum entrance fees for soldiers doing compulsory service and for children under 18.
The amendment extending the geographic scope of the Museums Law was sponsored by MK Uri Ariel (National Union ). "This is the first in a series of bills whose purpose is to apply laws to Judea and Samaria, to reinforce Israeli sovereignty there and to end the disgraceful discrimination against the residents," Ariel said after the Knesset passed the bill 51-9. "From now on I, together with other MKs, will take advantage of the Zionist majority in the current Knesset to make history and pass a similar law each week. The cultural and archaeological treasures are the most important ones we have because they are the thread binding the State of Israel to the kingdom of Israel of 2,000 years ago."
MK Uri Orbach (Habayit Hayehudi ) sponsored the free-entry bill.
"The bill sends an important cultural message to hundreds of thousands of children, teens and soldiers who will be able to enjoy the experience of visiting a museum for free."
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