Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked on Monday stated that she is working together with Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on an outline for imposing Israeli law on the Israeli-controlled areas in Judea and Samaria.
Established by the 1993 Oslo accords as Area C, the area in discussion covers 60% of Judea and Samaria and is home to some 400,000 Jews who live in 225 communities, and 30,000 Arabs. Israel already has control over security and land-management in Area C, and many in Israel view the area as a future part of the sovereign State of Israel, as opposed to Areas A and B, which were designated as the foundation of a future Palestinian autonomous territory.
Speaking to IDF Radio, Shaked said she plans to appoint a committee based on the new outline, to examine every law passed by the Knesset and decide whether it can be imposed concurrently on the Israeli communities in Area C as well, via a military decree.
Past attempts to impose an automatic application of Israeli laws in Judea and Samaria have failed, including two separate attempts by Habayit Hayehudi, Shaked’s party.
These included a minimalist bill to apply Israeli laws in the “Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria,” and even a bill prohibiting discrimination in the supply of goods and services to Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, which has been waiting for a Knesset vote since 2011.
Shaked is hoping that establishing “a team which will examine every single law” for its applicability in Judea and Samaria will indirectly create a promotional device that would be on hand to pressure the IDF General Officer Commanding (GOC) and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) to pay better attention.
At the moment, the legal picture in Area C is very complex, whereby the law there is comprised of Ottoman and Jordanian laws, combined with military decrees of the GOC, with the Supreme Court playing referee. In recent years there has been a growing tendency on the part of the GOC to apply new Israeli laws as soon as they had been passed.
On Sunday, in a similar vein, Shaked said that she intends to equalize the legal conditions for Israelis, either by using the military decree or by new legislation. Speaking at the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, Shaked added that “It’s important that the Justice Minister have political power and political ability.”