Justice Minister pushes ministers to apply bills to West Bank

Opposition MK Tzipi Livni slammed Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked's move Sunday.

January 21, 2018 16:39
1 minute read.
Justice Minister pushes ministers to apply bills to West Bank

Special committee to pass the Basic Law: Israel, the Nation-State of the Jewish People committee chairman Amir Ohana (Likud) , Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Tourism Minister Yariv Levin. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)


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For the first time ever, all of the government bills on Sunday’s agenda of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation explained how and whether they apply to the West Bank, as demanded by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

Laws do not automatically extend to the West Bank and usually require a military order for them to apply because the IDF governs the area. Shaked and Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, along with many others on the Right, have generally seen this as a form of discrimination against some Israeli citizens based on where they live. The Left, however, considers moves to change the situation as a form of settlement annexation.

Shaked asked ministers to include in their bills whether they would apply via a military order or directly, in accordance with instructions from Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit.

“The 450,000 residents of Judea and Samaria deserve the same rights and have the same obligations just like other Israeli citizens,” Shaked stated. “The Attorney-General’s recent instruction requires every government bill to include its ramifications on Judea and Samaria.

“As chairwoman of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, I will insist that government bills be brought to a discussion only if it mentions what is needed. We are fixing a 50-year-old injustice,” she added.

The Justice Minister’s move is part of a general emphasis in the coalition in recent weeks on applying Israeli law to the West Bank. The Knesset House Committee directed Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon to tell all committee legal advisers to discuss the matter when legislating.

At the same time, Kan (Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation) reported that Sunday’s planned vote on Bayit Yehudi MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli’s “disengagement cancellation bill” – which would make Israel reverse its 2005 evacuation of settlements in northern Samaria – was canceled due to US Vice President Mike Pence’s visit.

Former justice minister MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) accused Shaked of “continuing creeping annexation on the way to an apartheid state.”

“The difference isn’t that Israeli laws apply to Israeli citizens in Judea and Samaria. They also applied to them before – but now it’s in the law. Legal annexation will hurt all of Israel’s claims in international bodies and courts and will lead to either annexation with equal rights and an Arab majority in Israel, or to an apartheid state. Either situation is anti-Zionist,” Livni argued.

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