Despite the attorney general’s opposition, the Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved Sunday MK Orit Strock’s (Habayit Hayehudi) bill making state laws apply to West Bank settlements. The law would not apply to the Palestinian population in the territory.
The bill was sponsored by key Knesset figures behind the effort to annex the settlements, Likud MK Yariv Levin, coalition chair Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) and Habayit Hayehudi faction chair Ayelet Shaked, along with Strock.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni cast the lone “no” votes, saying they would file an appeal, meaning the bill’s progress would be postponed.
Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel blasted Livni: “Sometimes it sounds like, as far as you’re concerned, the settlers are fine for paying taxes, fighting and dying, but not for living.” He added, “You won’t convince me that serious action has been taken on this matter. What we have here is crude discrimination against residents of the State of Israel. Enough of the evasions. You know how to demand obligations, but when it comes to rights, you have all sorts of arguments against. It’s a disgrace to the concept of a Jewish and democratic state. It’s even more than disgraceful.”
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein announced his opposition to the bill. In an opinion submitted to the ministerial committee, he said the bill would hurt the IDF Central Command’s standing as sovereign in the West Bank.
The bill would require that every law passed by the Knesset be published as a military regulation by the head of the IDF Central Command within 45 days of its approval, so that it would apply equally to the settlements.