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
He warned that applying such a law, which is of a “territorial
nature” could have wide implications in the international legal
Weinstein did not specify what those implications would
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
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.”
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
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.
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
The Prime Minister’s Office had no comment on the matter.