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December 11, 2014 10:51 am

Israeli Disability Rights Law Applied to Judea and Samaria

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The Jewish community of Beit El in Judea and Samaria. Credit: Yaakov via Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – Sixteen years after the law granting equal rights to Israeli citizens with disabilities was legislated, IDF Central Command chief Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon recently signed a command that will make the law effective immediately in Judea and Samaria, Israel Hayom reported. Israeli laws do not automatically take hold in Judea and Samaria, and need to be signed off by the local sovereign—in this case, Alon.

The disability rights law requires municipalities and regional and local councils in Judea and Samaria to make public institutions and facilities, including transportation, accessible to people with disabilities. Recently, MK Orit Struck (Habayit Hayehudi) advocated for the “Norms Law,” which would have applied all laws passed in the Knesset to Judea and Samaria. The proposal passed in the Knesset Ministerial Committee on Legislation, but former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and former Finance Minister Yair Lapid objected to it, and Livni filed an appeal that essentially buried it.

Samaria Regional Accessibility Coordinator Yishai Kopler, who has lived with cerebral palsy since childhood, pushed for the implementation of the law in Judea and Samaria and took it upon himself to begin making the region more accessible prior to the legal requirement to do so.

Kopler said his disability has never held him back. “Instead of doing things in five minutes, I do them in seven minutes,” he said.

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