Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked on Sunday said she is pushing to have Israeli law apply to the occupied West Bank within one year.
Shaked made the comments while being interviewed on stage at a conference in Jerusalem organized by the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, in spite of prior vehement opposition to the idea by the Justice Ministry bureaucracy, including former Israeli attorney-general Yehuda Weinstein.
Asked about the Hok Hanormot or “Normalizing Law,” for making Israeli law apply to the occupied West Bank, she replied:
“I established a joint committee along with the [Israeli] Defense Ministry to work on legislation for ‘Judea and Samaria’ — occupied West Bank –, with essentially the purpose being that ultimately any law which was passed in the Knesset will either apply to Judea and Samaria by virtue of the legislation itself or by an order of the general [who legislates in the occupied West Bank] or by any other manner which is considered appropriate.”
She continued, “And I tell you, second, that as justice minister, I will give this priority, I have dedicated to this staff, that there should be a real thought-out legislative process…I repeat again that this might be by virtue of a general’s order as has been done until now.”
“But until now this has not been done sufficiently and not promptly enough. Most of the laws are very narrow. Whereas law about the environment, about workplace law do not apply in Judea and Samaria. And my purpose ultimately is by one year from now, that every law that is passed in the Knesset, will automatically be translated either by a general’s order or by regular legislation into applying to Judea and Samaria.”
Israeli MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) said the path Shaked is going on will lead to a binational state with a Palestinian majority in the Knesset.
“The right-wing government is quietly beginning the process of annexation in order to impose its ideology,” Livni stated. “We must continue fighting for a Jewish and democratic state.”
“The final result will be the collapse of the two-state idea, the imposition of two legal systems in one state, mass international pressure, and in the end, 2.5 million Palestinians with the right to vote for the Knesset,” Livni said.
Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On accused Shaked of “combining annexation and apartheid” and making Israel “stink” and “a leper” in the world’s opinion.
Gal-On said “the law seeks to make the different norms apply to Israeli citizens no matter where they live, to indirectly apply the State of Israel’s laws to settlers in the territories through a military order, but in reality, it creates racial discrimination.
“Even the previous [Israeli] attorney-general Yehuda Weinstein opposed bills that would apply the Knesset’s laws to settlements,” she pointed out.
“He said these bills harm the status of OC Central Command, the sovereign in the territories…and gives it to the Knesset, in opposition to the legal framework of laws of war, according to which the area is managed.”