• thawra abukhdeir

The Story of Regulations in Judea and Samaria: One Area—Two Legal Systems


Since the onset of the occupation, Israel has maintained two legal systems in the occupied territories: while Palestinians live under occupation, characterized by oppressive military rule, Israelis living in the occupied territories are subject to the laws of the democratic State of Israel, just as if they were living within its territory.

Allegedly, the military government and the laws it enacts are supposed to apply to everyone living in the occupied territories. Yet the Knesset applied Israeli law to settlers, including all the rights and protections it grants, through emergency regulations (Judea and Samaria – Adjudication of Offenses and Legal Assistance). These regulations are extended and revised every few years, and now the Knesset intends to extend their legality for another five years.

The possibility that these regulations might not be extended arouses anxiety among settlers, who fear that they will find themselves under oppressive military rule and the stricter legislation that Israel applies in the occupied territories. Yet the story doesn’t solely relate to the “risk” of the regulations’ repeal, but rather to its very existence to begin with and our willingness to accept this situation.

The regulations are but one expression of the racism and discrimination that the State of Israel has created, within the framework of which a reality of two legal systems that uphold Jewish supremacy and separation on an ethnic basis, has existed for 55 years.