Right-wing politicians on Sunday called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to
approve the Levy Report, which called for unauthorized Jewish West Bank building
to be legalized when possible.
“It is an important report that will allow
me and other ministers to implement [projects] that are difficult to do now,”
Transportation Minister Israel Katz (Likud) said.
He was among a group of
11 politicians, mostly from the Likud, from the Knesset Land for Israel Lobby
who visited the Amona outpost (near the Ofra settlement), which is danger of
demolition. They also visited the Eli settlement to hear first hand the problems
Jewish communities in Judea in Samaria face, because construction is
Peace Now and Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights have
for years waged many legal battles in an effort to force the state to remove
illegal Jewish West Bank construction, particularly building on private
But settlers have argued that only politics has
prevented the authorized of buildings, which could otherwise be legalized. They
have also said that some of the land has been misclassified as Palestinian
property. In instances where the land does belong to Palestinians, they said,
compensation should be given.
In July, the government-sponsored Levy
Report on outposts was submitted to Netanyahu and the Ministerial Settlements
The report was penned by three legal experts: former Supreme
Court justice Edmund Levy, former Foreign Ministry legal adviser Alan Baker and
former Tel Aviv District Court deputy president Tehiya Shapira.
that the government must solve the issue of unauthorized Jewish West Bank
construction, by legalizing the building when possible, and creating a legal
system to deal with land disputes.
Netanyahu said the settlements
committee would soon discuss the report, but it has yet to do so.
the trip, coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) and MK Arieh Eldad (National
Union) both said that three months after the report’s publication, there was no
reason to continue with past policies with regard to outposts.
condemned those policies, which they called draconian.
Amona Rabbi Yair
Frank asked the politicians not to “rest or sleep” until his community was
In Eli, council head Koby Elraz explained to the politicians
the difficult situation his community is in because it lacked proper
Eight petitions have been filed to the High Court of
Justice against the settlement, he said. Even though it was established in the
early 1980s, it does not have a zoning plan, he said.
Only at the end of
July, did the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria determine the status of
the land and set its boundaries, Elraz said. But it was years before a zoning
plan could be approved, he said.
The only way to protect the settlements
from losing the court petitions, he said, was to approve the Levy
Otherwise, the settlement remains vulnerable, because it lacks a
zoning plan, he said.
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