Gershon Mesika (file)
Gershon Mesika (file)Flash90

Attorney Gershon Mesika, former head of the Samaria Regional Council, has filed an application to recognize a class action against supermarket chains Shufersal, Rami Levy, and Victory for automatically charging consumers in Judea and Samaria for plastic bags in supermarkets claiming the newly-enforced “Bag Law.”

The Law, which went into effect at the beginning of 2017, charges consumers 10 agorot (about 3 cents) for every plastic bag purchased at major supermarket chains in an attempt to decrease the use of plastic bags that damage the environment. There are claims that prior to the passage of the Law, when consumers were not charged explicitly for plastic bags, the cost of the bags was simply incorporated into the price of food items.

Mesika claims that certain supermarket branches in Judea and Samaria are automatically charging consumers for plastic bags despite the passage of the Law.

“Across Judea and Samaria there are branches of Rami Levy, Shufersal and Victory and, due to the fact that Judea and Samaria are ruled by the IDF Civil Administration, an order from an IDF general is required in order to apply the Law in those areas. The Head of Central Command has not yet signed the order enabling collection of payment for bags at supermarket chains, which means the chains collect a fee illegally.”

According to Mesika, “the collection of payment from the residents is being done in gross violation of the law. The need for laws to be implemented by military command is always used to hurt the residents. For example, in the case of the Electricity Law whereby the Electric Authority bought solar electricity from homeowners (who placed solar collectors on their roofs) at a price much higher than its real price, the Electric Authority refused to sign with residents of Judea and Samaria because the IDF general had not yet signed off on that Law. As a result, many residents of Judea and Samaria were unable to reap the benefits of the Electricity Law. It is inconceivable that when it comes to imposing fees on Judea and Samaria residents without the signature of the military command, residents are forced to pay.”

“The law is the law - for all parties. The era of settlers being suckers is over. I call on all settlers to stand up for themselves and not allow themselves to be trampled,” Mesika concluded.