Israel's Ministerial Committee for Legislation last week rejected a bill calling for the annexation of Judea and Samaria, the so-called "West Bank."
The bill was proposed by Member of Knesset Miri Regev (pictured), who argued that Israel needed to have legislation prepared in the event that the Palestinian Authority unilaterally declared an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, in which case Israel should immediately annex the Jewish communities located there.
"It is fitting that Israel remove itself of responsibility and control of the Palestinian communities in Judea and Samaria, and yet not abandon communities in these areas where there is a Jewish majority," Regev stated in the explanatory notes accompanying the bill.
The motion was supported by two ministers from the Jewish Home party, but rejected by the other 11 members of the committee.
Despite the defeat, Regev told reporters that she would "continue to fight for the wholeness of the land and the wholeness of the people of Israel."
As debate over the bill raged, Prof. Moshe Negbi, a lecturer at Hebrew University and the legal analyst for Israel Radio, noted that already in 1967 the Knesset had passed a law enabling the government to annex any part of the Land of Israel.
Media analyst Dr. Aaron Lerner of Independent Media Review Analysis (IMRA) asked Prof. Negbi to clarify. In response, the professor pointed out that the law in question was in fact invoked the very day after it was passed, when Israel officially annexed the eastern half of Jerusalem.
The government "can also do so for any other part of the Land of Israel" as it deems necessary, explained Prof. Negbi, suggesting that Regev's bill would actually be redundant, as Israel can already respond with immediate annexation should the Palestinian leadership abandon its promise to reach a bilateral agreement.