Judea and Samaria Museums Bill Passes First Reading

A bill placing museums located in Judea and Samaria on equal footing with those in pre-1967 Israel has passed its first Knesset reading.

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Chana Ya'ar,

Israel news photo: Flash 90

A bill that would place museums located in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria on an equal legal footing with those in pre-1967 Israel has just passed its first reading in the Knesset.

The measure was approved by a vote of 19-3.

National Union Knesset member Uri Ariel, sponsor of the bill, explained the measure is intended to be the springboard from which Israel will be able to eventually annex the two regions.

"It's an additional step," Ariel said, "an important one that is necessary to strengthen our hold on the Land of Israel and stop discrimination against those who live in Judea and Samaria.

"Culture belongs to everyone," he added. "All Israeli citizens have a right to equal funding."

Museums and other cultural institutions in Judea and Samaria currently do not receive funding from the State of Israel in the same manner, nor at the same level, as those located within the 1949 Armistice Lines.

The measure now goes to committee where it will be amended and revised. It then returns to the Knesset plenum for a second and then third and final reading during which it will either fail or be approved and pass into law.