Revised Regulation Bill passes preliminary Knesset reading
After Netanyahu and Bennett reached compromise removing the controversial Clause 7, and despite Attorney General’s warnings that new draft still contains components contravening international and Israeli law, bill passes preliminary reading in the Knesset by 60-49 following a stormy debate.
The revised version of the Regulation Bill passed in its preliminary Knesset reading by 60-49 on Monday evening following weeks of political maneuvering and culminating in an intense debate.
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog, ripped up the proposed bill during his speech: “This is another dispute that will be remembered in the history of the state. This is a bill for the creation of a bi-national state. This is a deal of rhinos. You know that it endangers IDF commanders, state leaders and the state’s character,” he shouted. “You know that this is contrary to the opinion of the Attorney General. This bill is a black day for the Knesset.
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid dismissed the bill as pointless, in light of the fact that Amona is still scheduled to be evacuated this month. “What is really happening? They are evacuating Amona and 9 homes in Ofra. All this for a bill that is going to be cancelled. My heart breaks for the residents of Amona who were sold out for PR purposes.”
An elated Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) began her statement by sarcastically thanking the Peace Now organization.
“Not for the first time in the history of the Jewish people, we saw that someone who wanted to curse came out blessing. Unintentionally, Peace Now and other left-wing organizations are assisting the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria,” she said. “The roads of Oslo helped develop and add more settlements. The intense activities of the left-wing organizations have promoted us in the coalition to resolve and regulate the settlements.
Standing before the Knesset Plenum, MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) slammed MK Benny Begin (Likud) for voting against the bill. “You, who wanted to give away land in the Negev. In the name of what kind of morality are you opposing this bill that will bring about justice for the people sent (to Amona) by the state? This bill will pass on your nose. Enough with all your leftist and defeatist approaches.”
After passing the vote in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation earlier on, the newly-drafted version was brought before the Knesset despite Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit voicing objections that the new version, although not applicable to Amona, still contains components which bypass standard procedures for regulation of the West Bank and settlements built on privately-owned land
Not only would the law constitute a contravention of Israeli and international law, Mandelblit stated, but it still cannot be defended in the High Court of Justice.
Last week, Mandelblit provided a compromise according to which he would approve a solution whereby Amona residents would have to move to three areas north of the settlement over which Palestinians have made no claims of proprietorship, but would have to vacate the area after eight months. The temporary solution would only be approved on the condition that the Regulation Bill not be brought before the Knesset.
At the time, Mandelblit was referring to the old version of the bill which included the controversial Clause 7 which demanded that a retroactive solution be found on the issue of Amona despite the fact that the courts had already ruled on the matter.
Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett reached a compromise in which the latter agreed to remove the clause.