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Incoming Israeli government seeks to disband 2005 Disengagement Law

MK Yuli Edelstein attends a Likud party meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, May 23, 2022. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Several Israeli lawmakers have signed a bill to disband the Disengagement Law of 2005 which will permit Israelis to once again legally reside in settlements throughout West Bank and the Gaza Strip. 

The groundbreaking legislation, introduced by Knesset Member Orit Strock (Religious Zionism party) and Knesset Member Yuli Edelstein (Likud party), would make it legal for Israeli citizens to live in territories which they have been forbidden to inhabit since the signing of the law in 2005. 

The bill’s signers – who said they received missiles in exchange for giving up land – believe that returning to those territories will send a message that Israelis are ready to rebuild life once again. Palestinians, however, view that land as part of a future state for themselves.

As leader of the opposition, Benjamin Netanyahu initiated the controversial bill to disband the Disengagement Law, which he referred to as “a tragic mistake.” The bill failed then, but now the incoming right-wing government is expected to quickly dissolve the law and allow for unrestricted resettlement in those communities.

“This is the time when the law will be passed. We will not wait any longer. The time has come. The public expects it,” said Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Council in the West Bank. 

"The public's soul has been torn apart by the move, which year after year turns out to be an even more tragic mistake,” Dagan continued. “It's time to correct the injustice and folly, and to cancel the Disengagement Law from Northern Samaria (the West Bank), to return home."

The 2005 Disengagement Law resulted in the evacuation and demolition of four Israeli settlements in the West Bank and all Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip. The law prohibited Israelis to settle in those places without authorization. 

The law, in effect for 17 years, was initially canceled in hopes of bringing about peace, but is expected to lead to increased tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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