Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed late Tuesday night to establish a ministerial settlement committee, empowered to authorize West Bank Jewish construction without a full cabinet decision.
Netanyahu has an informal ministerial advisory committee on settlements, but it was not a fully authorized committee.
The Prime Minister’s Office has yet to publicized the committee’s composition.
It has said, however, that Netanyahu would head the committee and that Defense Minister Ehud Barak would be a member.
Settlers and right-wing politicians have long called for Netanyahu to create such a committee, which had existed under past governments.
“It is a very important achievement,” said Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein who had long lobbied for the committee along with ministers such as Minister-without-Portfolio Bennie Begin and Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon.
Edelstein added that he will be a committee member.
The committee’s mandate has yet to be set, by Edelstein said he believed that among other things it would set policy for state responses to future court decisions.
It is also believed that this committee will set policy for settlement construction and make is easier to approve building.
A similar type of committee has existed under past governments.
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