Knesset panel to debate Levy Report

The report, which provides legal argument in support of West Bank settlements, was never adopted by gov't, c'tee.

David Rotem 370 (photo credit: Jeremy Sharon)
David Rotem 370
(photo credit: Jeremy Sharon)
The Levy Report, which provides a legal argument in support of West Bank settlements, will be debated in the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee next week, committee chairman David Rotem announced on Tuesday.
The report was delivered to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in July 2012, as well as to members of the Ministerial Committee on Settlements.
Neither the committee nor the government ever adopted it.
Penned by a three-person judicial panel with former Supreme Court justice Edmund Levy at its head, the report also argued that West Bank outposts should be legalized when possible, particularly if they were built on state land.
A political campaign to push the government to adopt the report petered out after Netanyahu was elected to a third term as prime minister in January 2013.
“It’s our duty to ensure that Justice Levy’s report is adopted by the government,” Rotem said on Tuesday.
He added that its passage would repair the damage that had resulted from private attorney Talia Sasson’s initial government commission report on West Bank outposts, which the government received in March 2005.
Her report focused on the creation of illegal outposts and argued for their removal.
In contrast, the Levy report seeks to authorize them and normalize the treatment of land issues in the West Bank as much as possible.
The Constitution, Law and Justice Committee debate may be able to shine a political spotlight on the report, but cannot advance it legally.
New legislation on settlement building would need Netanyahu’s support and the initial approval of the Ministerial Legislative Committee.
Since entering office, Netanyahu has rejected the option of dealing with issues of Jewish building in the West Bank through Knesset legislation, preferring instead to use existing mechanisms.