Photo Credit: Courtesy, the Knesset
The Knesset

The Judea and Samaria Law failed to pass a vote in the Knesset plenum late Monday night.

The bill presented by New Hope Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar and supported by the coalition, fell in a vote of 58 to 52. Ahead of the vote, Sa’ar declared it the vote that would decide the fate of the coalition based on how the coalition members voted.


Had it passed, the law which expires at the end of this month would have continued to give the State of Israel jurisdiction over Israeli citizens living in Judea and Samaria.

The law, which has been approved and reauthorized every five years since 1967, also affects law enforcement in Jewish communities in the region.

Former coalition head Yamina MK Idit Silman left the room to avoid casting her ballot, as did Islamic Ra’am (United Arab List) party chairman Mansour Abbas.

Ra’am MK Mazen Ghanaim and Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi both voted against the measure.

Upon hearing the results, Arab Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh and faction colleague MK Ahmad Tibi both broke into applause.

There will be attempts to fast track the bill again over the next few weeks, as well as find workarounds via the army.

The most major significance of the bill not passing is that it is an indicator that the coalition, while technically still in existence, has fallen apart. The coalition can still limp along until Lapid takes over for Bennett in the rotation deal for Prime Minister, but at this point, it seems that either a new government will be formed within this Knesset or until the budget doesn’t pass, which would trigger new elections around 13 months from now.

PM Naftali Bennett said he would keep bringing the bill to the Knesset until it passes.

It’s been pointed out that a previous critical coalition bill (citizenship bill) also failed in its initial reading, until the coalition later agreed to work with the opposition to pass a much improved version of the law. This could turn out be the opportunity to pass a sovereignty bill.



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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.