After a marathon session, the Knesset’s Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee approved the Regulation Law Wednesday morning, paving the way for the second and third readings in the Knesset next week.
The Regulation Law, crafted in response to demolition orders issued by the Supreme Court against the town of Amona in Samaria, would protect communities over the Green Line from ex post facto claims of ownership on their land by absentee landlords.
While towns inside the Green Line already enjoy such protection, many in Judea and Samaria do not, leaving them vulnerable to claimants demanding their demolition, even decades after their establishment with government aid and even if no alleged owner sues to regain the property.
If passed, the Regulation Law would allow verified owners claiming property rights to be compensated at 125% of the value of the real estate prior to the improvements created by the towns in question.
The bill was passed in the first hearing on Wednesday by a vote of 8-6 in the committee.
Committee chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky (Jewish Home) praised the committee’s decision.
“The joint committee approved the proposed Regulation Law, which allows the Knesset to normalize in a positive way the situation many residents and towns in Judea and Samaria find themselves, and gives some hope to Amona, Netiv Avot, and the nine homes in Ofra and Eli,” said Slomiansky, referencing planned demolitions in the above communities.
“The 450,000 citizens living across our nation [in Judea and Samaria] deserve to live like any other citizen. They have all the same obligations and deserve the same rights. They deserve to know that this is their home and no one will come knock on their door and tell them they need to get out.”
The eight supporters of the bill in the committee were Slomiansky, Norit Koren (Likud), Amir Ohana (Likud), David Amsalem (Likud), Hamad Amar (Yisrael Beytenu), Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism), Shuli Mualem (Jewish Home), and Michael Michaeli (Shas).
The six who opposed the bill were Revital Swid (Zionist Union), Yael Cohen-Paran (Zionist Union), Yael German (Yesh Atid), Osama Saadi (Joint List), Michal Rozin (Meretz), and Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union).
Yoav Kish (Likud) and Tali Ploskov (Kulanu) were absent from the vote.