Ministers Approve Applying Israeli Law to West Bank Settlements

Bill's sponsors from Likud, Habayit Hayehudi argue it would rectify 'injustice' faced by Israeli citizens of 'Judea and Samaria.'

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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The West Bank settlement of Ariel, with 20,000 inhabitants, is not on the list of settlement blocs Israel would never forfeit in a two-state deal. Credit: Tess Scheflan
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved a proposed bill that would apply all laws passed by the Knesset to the settlements too, within 45 days after the laws are passed.

The proposed law, sponsored by the Eretz-Israel lobby of MKs, would require the head of the IDF’s Central Command to publish all new laws as a military regulation so that they would apply equally to settlements in the West Bank.

Among the sponsors in the Knesset are leading figures in the movement to annex the settlements, including Yariv Levin (Likud) and Orit Strock (Habayit Hayehudi), the heads of the lobby; MK Ze’ev Elkin (Likud); and the chairwoman of the Habayit Hayehudi faction, Ayelet Shaked.

Levin and Strock said the bill “would protect the rights, as well as the obligations, of all the Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria. There is no justifiable reason that Israeli citizens living in Judea and Samaria cannot determine their obligations and rights through their representatives in the Knesset, who were elected for that [purpose], even without applying [Israeli] sovereignty to the territory.”

“This is a patently unacceptable situation from a democratic viewpoint, which without a doubt harms the dignity of the Israeli residents of the area and as a result even brings with it serious harm to their rights and discriminates against them relative to the rest of the citizens of the state,” said the sponsors of a bill in a statement.

“This proposed law asks to correct this injustice, to equate the various norms applying to Israeli citizens without any connection to their place of residence, and to bring about a situation where the lives of the residents of the area will be run by the elected Knesset, without changing the status of the area diplomatically, and without contradicting international law which Israel has accepted on itself, beyond the letter of the law, to act according to in Judea and Samaria,” they said.

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