Israel's Knesset Extends West Bank Emergency Orders by Another Five Years

The regulations directly apply Israeli laws to Israelis who reside in the area and are meant to govern the full provision of legal assistance between Israel and the recognized bodies of the Palestinian Authority

Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel
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The West Bank settlement of Peduel.
The West Bank settlement of Peduel.Credit: Ofer Vaknin
Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel

Israel's Knesset approved a bill on Tuesday extending the emergency orders which impose Israeli law on Israeli citizens in the West Bank – the same law that was unsuccessfully brought to a vote by the Naftali Bennett government and soon after led to its collapse.

The bill was backed by 39 MKs, with 12 voting against it.

The emergency orders, which are renewed every five years, were first enacted in 1967 in order to formalize the relationship between settlers in the West Bank – Israeli citizens who live beyond the official borders of the country – and the Israeli system of governance.

The regulations are meant to govern the full provision of legal assistance between Israel and the recognized bodies of the Palestinian Authority. They also directly apply Israeli laws to settlers who reside in the area.

The agreements outlined in the regulations primarily relate to the jurisdictional authority of Israeli courts over Israelis who have committed crimes in the West Bank or in Palestinian Authority-controlled territory. It also provides jurisdiction for Israeli authorities to carry out arrest warrants and punishments issued by local military authorities, and the potential to carry out orders and punishments imposed in Israel on residents of the area.

The orders were due to expire in June 2022 when the previous government failed to get a majority to extend them in the Knesset, but, in the end, they are automatically extended since the Knesset was dissolved before they expired. Sources close to then prime minister Bennett said that he decided to call an election since he had failed to muster a majority to extend the orders.

The emergency regulations will be extended until February 15, 2028, on the grounds that they are necessary for the maintenance of the legal relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

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