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Israeli PM to back report legalising settlements

February 17, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Israel’s Prime Minister is intending to enact the Levy Report to legalise settlements in the occupied West Bank under Israeli law, Likud member of Knesset Danny Danon said on Thursday morning. “Benjamin Netanyahu downplayed the report when it was issued early this month fearing that it would have created international controversy,” said Knesset member Danny Danon.

The report was prepared by a committee chaired by the retired head of the Israeli Supreme Court, Edmond Levy. “Because the Likud [Party] government was elected in order to sponsor Israeli settlements, the PM is going to adopt the report now,” the Chairman of the World Likud Organisation added.

The Levy Report on Israeli settlement policy and the legal status of the West Bank is described by Danon as “a gift for communities in Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank]”. He accused the judiciary and the State Prosecution Office of following a leftist and foreign agenda to stop building in the settlements, which are illegal under international law. He also accused the Peace Now organisation of receiving financial aid from “hostile foreign bodies”, including EU countries.

The prominent Israeli politician, who does not believe in the two-state solution, made his remarks in response to the decision of the Israeli High Court to evacuate the Migron settlement in the West Bank. He called on Netanyahu to convene the Ministerial Committee on Settlement Affairs and discuss the situation of the settlements and adopt the recommendations of the Levy Report. “The Likud government must stop ignoring our citizens in the West Bank,” said Danon.

The Supreme Court issued an evacuation order for Migron settlement on Wednesday and set a 4th September deadline. It rejected an appeal by settlers that the outpost had been built on land purchased legally from Palestinians.

Migron settlers responded angrily to the Supreme Court ruling. Itay Harel called it a “price tag move aimed at erasing Migron”. Another settler said: “This is a dark day for Israeli democracy; a day in which the Israeli government trampled over the basic rights of its citizens.”

Peace Now, which filed an appeal for Migron’s evacuation in 2006, called the Court’s decision a “victory for the rule of law over the systematic construction of illegal outposts in the territories… The ruling shows the settlers that they are not above the law.” The Israeli peace activists consider the ruling to be a significant achievement for all those who believe in a two-state solution.