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Knesset plenum begins debate on settler law, with no apparent majority for coalition

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Lawmakers begin a plenum debate on a bill renewing the application of Israeli law to settlers in the West Bank, though the coalition currently has no clear majority to pass the measure in this evening’s vote.

Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar says that if the Knesset does not approve the bill, settlers will become “people without standing.”

He says the school year could be threatened, drivers’ licenses couldn’t be issued, identity numbers could not be assigned and that the West Bank could turn into a “sanctuary” for criminals.

While the opposition’s right-religious bloc ideologically supports the bill, it has committed to blocking it in order to embarrass the coalition, put pressure on its members and force a change in government or dissolution of the Knesset.

“You ask us how we vote against [the bill],” says Likud MK Yoav Kisch. “The answer is very easy. This will topple this bad government.”

“We’ll immediately pass it when we come back,” he adds.

“We can’t leave 500,000 people without law and without order.”

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