Weinstein opposes extending labor law for working mothers to Area C

A-G warns applying a law of "territorial nature" could have wide implications in the international legal arena.

By
September 1, 2013 01:02
2 minute read.
Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein [file]

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein 370 (R). (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein has opposed extending the law protecting the rights of pregnant and working Israeli and Palestinian mothers onto the West Bank’s Area C, in advance of Sunday’s debate on the matter at the weekly cabinet meeting.

He warned that applying such a law, which is of a “territorial nature” could have wide implications in the international legal arena.

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Weinstein did not specify what those implications would be.

However, moves to extend Israeli law into Area C of the West Bank have been viewed as part of the de-facto battle waged by right-wing legislators to annex that portion of the West Bank to Israel, one-legislation at a time.

Nevertheless, MK Orit Struck (Bayit Yehudi) who first proposed the move, said that the legislation addresses a legal imbalance whereby women working for Israeli-owned entities in Area C, such as businesses, non-profits, schools and municipal offices, are except from the labor law that protects their counterparts employed within the pre-1967 lines.

The measure has already passed the Ministerial Legislative Committee.

Since then, Science, Technology and Space Minister Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid) has opposed the move. He has argued that the matter could be dealt with via a military order.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatenua) has also supported Peri’s stance.

Peri accused Struck of “harming Israel’s international standing by attempting to annex Area C under the guise of helping working Israeli and Palestinian women.”

Weinstein, in the letter he sent out Thursday, said he too believed that a military order could deal with the matter, and that the issue should be resolved as soon as possible.

Other labor issues such as minimum wage had been handled in this way, Weinstein said.

He noted that personal laws that involved taxes, voting, IDF service and crime did apply to Israelis living in Area C of the West Bank which is under Israeli military and civilian control.

This law was of a territorial nature, Peri said.

Israel Laws of a territorial nature have not been applied to area C.

Struck said that Weinstein had erred in this assessment.

“It’s absurd to imagine that laws protecting the rights of working women are anything but personal. Just as no one thinks that laws about paying taxes imply annexation, so too no one should think that about this law,” she said.

Struck first proposed extending the law after she was approached by a woman from Judea and Samaria who, after she was fired, discovered that she lacked the same protective rights afforded other Israeli women.

The Prime Minister’s Office had no comment on the matter.


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