Minister: New Laws Will Apply in Yehudah and Shomron, Too

A view of Alon Shvut and the surrounding area, in Gush Etzion, Yehudah region.

From now on, new laws passed by the Knesset will be required to apply to residents of Yehudah and Shomron, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said in an interview Friday. Speaking to Israel Radio, Shaked said that “we cannot continue to tolerate a situation where 450,000 people are discriminated against on a daily basis. We want all the laws that apply to the rest of Israel to apply to residents of Yehudah and Shomron as well.”

Shaked was discussing a policy paper issued by the Ministerial Law Committee, chaired by MK Yariv Levin. According to the new policy, any laws submitted for approval – a required step for laws proposed by coalition members – must include a section that specifies how the law will be applied in Yehudah and Shomron.

Israeli law per sé does not apply in Yehudah and Shomron; since the region has not been annexed to Israel, it is under Israeli administrative control, and the seat of power there is not the Knesset, but the military government. Israeli laws that apply in Yehudah and Shomron apply there by military government order, which must be signed by an IDF general. From now on, legislators who write Knesset bills will have to make arrangements with the military government and/or any other applicable entity to ensure that the law applies in Yehudah and Shomron as well, according to the new policy.

Pointing out what she said was the “absurdity” of the situation, Shaked said that “I was recently in Gush Etzion, where they do not charge people for the use of plastic bags, unlike in the rest of Israel, where people have to pay ten agurot per bag. That law was passed in order to protect the environment, but there is an environment to protect in Gush Etzion. Why does the law not apply there too?”

Laws would apply to Arabs as well, Shaked said in the interview. “We insisted that labor laws will apply to Palestinians, and when they go to Israeli stores, they will pay the ten agurot for a bag as well. This is not a matter of annexation, but normalization. Israelis live in Yehudah and Shomron and the laws of Israel should apply to them, and to Palestinians who are part of the framework of Jewish communities, like with labor laws,” she added.