Reuven Rivlin Visits Samarian Factory
Reuven Rivlin Visits Samarian Factory Israel news photo: Yoni Kempinski

The government on Sunday will consider a proposal to expand Israeli labor laws to Judea and Samaria. The laws would apply to workers in those areas as they do to Israeli communities within the 1948 armistice lines, and would apply equally to Jews and Arabs working in Area C, under Israeli security and civilian control.

Among the laws that will be imposed in Judea and Samaria will be laws requiring employers to give dismissed employees compensation as required – generally one month's salary for each year worked. Employers will also have to comply with laws providing workers with sick days and vacation days, minimum wage laws, time off to allow mothers to take care of newborns, and others. In addition, the measures will call for the hiring of more labor enforcement personnel to ensure that the laws are followed.

The laws will apply not only to Israeli citizens, but to Palestinian Authority subjects who work in Israeli-owned businesses in Area C. PA residents will have access to Israeli courts and legal protections in dealing with their employers.

Earlier this year, reports said that a labor court would be opened in Ariel, in central Samaria, to deal with labor cases, but a committee drawing up the regulations decided that the labor matters would be better handled by local committees in each community that will be provided with court-appointed powers to enforce the law.

In general, Israelis living in communities in Judea and Samaria are legally bound as Israeli citizens to Israeli law, and local authorities and municipalities in the region are considered “sovereign” Israeli areas for enforcement of legal proceedings. But the overall authority – legal and otherwise – in Judea and Samaria is the responsibility of the IDF.

Under Israeli law, Area C – under full Israeli legal and security control, and the area where all Jews live – is considered an “administered” territory.

Activists and MKs on the right have long decried this system; since Israeli citizens are obligated to fulfill all requirements of Israeli law, including paying taxes and serving in the IDF, they should also be provided the rights and protections afforded to all Israeli citizens, as developed by the legal bodies within Israel, including the Knesset and the High Court.

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