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Israeli justice minister's stealthy plan to annex the West Bank

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is trying to erase the legal separation between Israeli settlers and Palestinians on the West Bank, which would amount to annexation of the occupied territory.
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On Feb. 25, a government panel approved proposed legislation that would transfer jurisdiction over certain petitions filed by West Bank Palestinians from the Israeli Supreme Court to the Jerusalem District Court. The bill, sponsored by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, is a precedent-setting move that would de facto impose Israeli law on the West Bank. It would validate the “creeping imposition” of Israeli law for the benefit of the hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers living among the Palestinians. The settlers are currently governed largely by military law, which applies in the West Bank since it is legally considered occupied territory.

One Rule, Two Legal Systems,” a 2014 report compiled by the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, provides an overview of the institutionalized judicial discrimination at play in the West Bank, where two different population groups live side-by-side but under unequal legal systems. “Those who belong to one population enjoy human rights and civil liberties, while those who belong to the other population are not entitled to them, or entitled to them to a much lesser extent,” the report states.

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