The Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Sunday approved a bill stating that the laws passed by the Knesset will also apply in the West Bank. The process will involve a military order to be issued within six weeks from the publication of a new law in the official legislative gazette.
The proposal gives the military commander the authority to request modifications in any given new law to be applied in Judea and Samaria.
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Since the liberation of Judea and Samaria in 1967, areas outside East Jerusalem, which have not been annexed, have been operating under martial law, enforced by the military judicial system. This means that the half million or so Israelis living in the disputed territories do not enjoy the same democratic privileges of their fellow citizens west of the 1949 cease fire line.
The bill was initiated by MKs from Likud, Jewish Home, Israel Beiteinu, United Torah Judaism and Shas.
The supporting documentation states that the aim of the new bill is to equate the standards applicable to all Israeli citizens, regardless of where they live. This move is designed to allow the Knesset to legislate foe civilians residing in the disputed territories without changing the status of said territories politically, and without contradicting the provisions of international law for civil life in Judea and Samaria.
The supporting documents further explain that the current legislative system in Judea and Samaria creates great confusion and legal nuances that would not by tolerated by citizens living elsewhere in Israel.
There may be some inherent conflict in the bill regarding the legal status of Palestinians who live in areas governed by the IDF.
Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee Tzipi Livni has already announced that she intends to appeal the committee’s decision. The other left-of-center coalition partner, Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, has also announced that it intends to file an appeal.