Justice Ministry Left Out of Annexation Plans

YERUSHALAYIM -

While the government’s plans to advance annexation in Yehuda and Shomron has already generated intense controversy, one of the key players in any such scenario—the Justice Ministry—was apparently being left out.

Ministry officials told Walla News that they have so far received no instructions regarding the extension of sovereignty to the areas in question, as much a legal as a political move.

“As long as there is no decision as to what exactly they intend to do, then it is difficult to prepare the entire legal infrastructure in advance. But at least on the international implications and agreements, things must be examined beforehand,” a former Justice Ministry official was quoted as saying.

“There are several factors that need to be prepared for such a move, starting with how Israeli law is applied at all – is it in the order, which is something they have not used since 1967, or in the law as they did on the Golan Heights,” he said.

Among the issues to be addressed will be the status of people in territories where Israel will not apply its sovereignty.

According to the coalition agreement between the Likud and Blue and White, a proposal to extend sovereignty can be brought to the Cabinet, government or Knesset beginning July 1, subject to “discussion and consultation” with Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

However, in recent days both American and Israeli officials have been quoted saying that it would be unlikely that the process of mapping the region and gaining Washington’s approval could be completed by that time. It could be weeks or even months beyond that before the sides are ready.