Gideon Sa'ar
Gideon Sa'arצילום: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

Israel’s Justice Minister threatened to topple the government if it fails to pass a bill extending the term of enforcement of Israeli civil law in Judea and Samaria.

Minister Gideon Sa’ar (New Hope) said in an interview with Reshet Bet Tuesday morning that he recently warned coalition partners that a vote against the Judea and Samaria Law would be tantamount to dissolving their own government.

“Coalition members who vote against this law are basically saying ‘I don’t want this government to exist’,” Sa’ar said.

“The vote next week will determine whether this coalition wants to continue to exist or not.”

Sa’ar also chastised the Opposition for its refusal to back any bill advanced by the government – even the extension of existing laws.

“The Opposition’s game is not only unprecedented, it is also dangerous. That being said, this government bears the responsibility of passing basic legal measures, like this law. I made that clear to the party chiefs.”

The Judea and Samaria Law, renewed every five years by the Knesset, is a temporary measure which applies Israeli civil law to Area C – the territories under full Israeli control – in Judea and Samaria, without establishing Israeli sovereignty over the area.

With the Opposition pledged to vote against any bill brought by the government, the coalition must ensure the support of every coalition partner, including the four MKs from the United Arab List (Ra’am).

The government was forced to drop plans to vote on the bill this week, however, after it became clear the UAL would not back the bill.

Ahead of next week’s vote, Finance Minister Avidgor Liberman reportedly reached an agreement with the UAL to allocate 35 positions in the Interior Ministry to Muslim imams, in exchange for the party’s support for the Judea and Samaria Law.