“For the first time ever”, all of the Israeli government bills discussed Sunday by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation “explained how and whether they apply to the West Bank”, reported The Jerusalem Post.
As also reported by Haaretz, the cabinet ministers’ deliberations on 12 government-sponsored bills “came after Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit instituted a new procedure several weeks ago”, ruling “that bills proposed by ministries must now include a legal opinion on how the laws might apply beyond the Green Line, to settlements in the occupied territories”.
According to Haaretz, the committee “approved a bill presented by the Agriculture Ministry on Sunday to regulate egg quotas in Israel”.
Whereas, until now, “such quotas could not be transferred to poultry farmers in the territories”, ministers “decided that the wording of the law should state that Israel proper and West Bank settlements will now be viewed as one market”.
Referring to West Bank settlers, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who is also the committee chair, said: “The 450,000 residents of Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] deserve the same rights and have the same obligations just like other Israeli citizens”.
“The Attorney-General’s recent instruction requires every government bill to include its ramifications on Judea and Samaria”, she added.
“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”.
Opposition MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Camp) accused Shaked of “continuing creeping annexation on the way to an apartheid state”, adding:
“The difference isn’t that Israeli laws apply to Israeli citizens in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank]. 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”.