Netanyahu creates settlement committee (JERUSALEM POST) By TOVAH LAZAROFF 06/07/12)
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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 publicize 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.
The move comes amid major political controversy over the West Bank
outpost of Ulpana.
Netanyahu plans to relocate five apartment buildings from Ulpana to
an authorized tract of land in the Beit El settlement.
The High Court of Justice has ordered the five Ulpana buildings
removed by July 1 because they were built on private Palestinian
property without the proper permits. Homes on three other outposts —
Migron, Amona, Mitzpe Assaf — are slated for removal this year, as a
result of petitions by Peace Now and Yesh Din to the High Court of
MKs Ya’acov Katz and Zevulun Orlev plan to propose outpost bills for
a preliminary reading Wednesday which they hope would avert the
demolitions and would retroactively legalize unauthorized West Bank
Jewish homes, including those in Ulpana.
Netanyahu vowed to fire any ministers who vote for the bills, but has
taken strides to portray himself as a champion of settlements within
a framework that respects the rule of law and the separation of
powers. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 06/07/12)
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