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Golan Heights Law

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Title: Golan Heights Law  
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Subject: 1981 in Israel, Israeli settlement timeline, International law and Israeli settlements, Arab citizens of Israel, Golan Heights
Collection: 1981 in Israel, Golan Heights, Politics of Israel
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Golan Heights Law

The Golan Heights Law is the Israeli law which applies Israel's government and laws to the Golan Heights. It was ratified by the Knesset on December 14, 1981. The law was not recognised internationally[1] and determined null and void by United Nations Security Council Resolution 497.[2][3]

The law was passed half a year before Israel's withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula. Unusually, all three readings took place on the same day. This procedure was heavily criticized by the centre-left opposition. Substantially, the law has mainly been criticized for potentially hindering future negotiations with Syria.

While the Israeli public at large, and especially the law's critics, viewed it as an annexation, the law avoids the use of the word. Prime Minister Menachem Begin responded to Amnon Rubinstein's criticism by saying: "you use the word 'annexation', I do not use it" and noting that similar wording was used in a 1967 law authorizing the government to apply Israeli law to any part of the Land of Israel. The earlier law covered only those areas included in the British Mandate, requiring a separate law for the Golan Heights (these were included in the French Mandate of Syria).

The law

The three broad provisions in the Golan Heights Law are:[4]

1. "The Law, jurisdiction and administration of the State will take effect in the Golan Heights, as described in the Appendix."

2. "This Law will begin taking effect on the day of its acceptance in the Knesset."

3. "The Minister of the Interior is placed in-charge of the implementation of this Law, and is entitled, in consultation with the Minister of Justice, to enact regulations for its implementation and to formulate regulations on interim provisions regarding the continued application of regulations, directives, administrative directives, and rights and duties which were in effect in the Golan Heights prior to the acceptance of this Law."


  • Passed in the Knesset with a majority of 63 in favour, 21 against.[4]

See also


  1. ^ BBC News. Regions and territories: The Golan Heights.
  2. ^ United Nations. Security Council Resolutions, 1981.
  3. ^ Council on Foreign Relations. UN Security Council Resolution 497.
  4. ^ a b Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Golan Heights Law. December 14, 1981.
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