Bennett-Lapid Coalition in Israel Could Collapse Over Vote on West Bank Settlement Communities

JERUSALEM, Israel – The future of the coalition government headed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid is in question on Monday as the coalition prepares for a critical vote on the legal status of Israeli settlement communities in the West Bank – biblical Judea and Samaria.

If the vote fails to pass, the fragile government could crumble.

The bill would renew a decades-old measure that extends Israeli law to citizens living in the West Bank. The regulations mean that Israeli citizens living there are treated as though they live in Israel, even though the territory is disputed and has not been officially annexed by Israel. Those same legal protections do not apply to Palestinians who are also living there.

The measure must be renewed every five years and expires at the end of June. Failure to pass the bill could jeopardize the legal status of Israelis in the West Bank and could prevent them from receiving ID cards, which are needed to exercise basic rights like voting, Channel 12 news reported.

“It will create chaos for justice matters in Judea and Samaria,” Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar told Israeli media last week. “It will harm the territory’s connection to Israel and Israeli law, and will harm some 500,000 Israelis living in Judea and Samaria.”

Bennett’s governing coalition is made of eight ideologically different parties from the political right, left, center and for the first time, an Arab Islamist party.

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Source: CBN