MK Uri Orbach
MK Uri OrbachIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Residents of Judea and Samaria have long had difficulty in obtaining products from service providers who are unwilling to deliver goods purchased by customers living on the "wrong side" of the Green Line, the temporary demarcation between Israel and its enemies in the 1949 Armistice agreement.

Israeli companies often advertise they will deliver products to any point in Israel, but inform customers living in Judea and Samaria come pick up the product themselves. This is often done even when delivery is included, in writing, as one of the terms of sale. In other cases companies charge additional fees, sometimes running to hundreds of shekels, for delivery.

According to one dispatcher, who spoke with Israel National News on condition of anonymity, such fees are, "a smart sounding excuse to avoid legal liability for the actual transfer of a product to customers."

MK Uri Orbach, Chairman of the Jewish Home party, took note and brought a bill designed to prevent such practices. The bill, which passed its first reading on the Knesset floor 40-0, would prohibit discrimination based on place of residence, passed its preliminary reading in the Knesset plenum.

Orbach explained: "The bill was submitted to stop the practice of some companies to refuse delivery to a broad segment of the population due to their residing in Judea and Samaria. Sometimes services are only provided to these areas on condition of additional payment [not in the purchase agreement - ed.]"

The bill, "Discrimination Based on Place of Residence" will apply in any case where companies refuse to deliver a product or public service based on place of residence, but under similar circumstances and conditions, provided them to customers residing at comparable distances elsewhere in Israel.