Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit .
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked publicized a legal opinion by Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit late Thursday which may lay the groundwork for legalizing around 2,000 units of Jews living in the West Bank.
The legal opinion made reference to moving forward with expedited proceedings in special military West Bank committees to recognize Jews' rights in a variety of circumstances over land where, until now, their rights were considered disputed or unauthorized by the government.
Mandelblit suggested that these committees were better suited to rule on the issues than civilian district courts, which handle many other disparate issues.
His opinion also said that various government agencies and the West Bank Jews themselves would need to produce evidence to meet administrative law standards to prove their rights.
Finally, Mandelblit said that the government would need to take various affirmative actions to move the process forward and cure certain legal loopholes.
The opinion was extremely vague on timing and it was unclear how easily the conditions which Mandelblit set out could be met, but was trumpeted by Shaked as a sea-change after years of joint work on the issue.
It was unclear what the government's position would be on how the issue might impact a petition before the High Court of Justice to strike down the related Settlements Regulations Law
, meant to legalize 4,000 Jewish west bank units on land which has been identified as also having Palestinians private owners, and how it might impact the International Criminal Court's view of the settlement enterprise.