October 17, 2012
Report: Netanyahu to ask Cabinet to approve panel’s findings on legality of settlements
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will ask his Cabinet to approve some of the conclusions of a report that says that West Bank settlements are legal under international law.
A resolution to adopt some of the findings of the Levy Committee's report could come in the next week or two, Israel Radio reported.
The Levy Committee, which was formed by Netanyahu and headed by former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy, said in its 89-page report released in July that “Israel does not meet the criteria of ‘military occupation’ as defined under international law” in the West Bank, and that therefore settlements and West Bank outposts are legal.
The report recommends changing the legal regulations concerning Jewish settlement in the West Bank in the areas of zoning, demolitions and building.
The committee calls for the legalization of all outposts and allowing land owners to register land in the West Bank under their own names, as well as allowing people who built homes on Palestinian-owned land to pay compensation to the alleged owners if the construction was made in good faith.
Netanyahu established the committee in January after settler leaders called for a response to the 2005 Sasson Report on illegal outposts, which concluded that more than 100 West Bank settlements and outposts constructed from the 1990s and forward were illegal.