Israeli PM drops settler bill that sparked uproar

Updated at: 10/13/2013 10:05 AM

(AP) JERUSALEM - Israel’s prime minister has abandoned a contested labor bill for female settlers that critics claimed would entrench Israeli control of the West Bank.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said Sunday that a military decree would replace the proposed legislation and make labor laws in the West Bank for both Israeli and Palestinians women mirror those in Israel.

A pro-settler party lawmaker said she pushed for the bill after learning of pregnant settlers who’d been unfairly fired. Critics said the true intent of the bill was to enact a creeping annexation over the Israeli controlled areas Palestinians want for a state.

Israel has never annexed the West Bank and it technically remains under military rule. Israel relies heavily on military decrees, rather than parliament, for laws in the region.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)