Gov’t approves new settlement committee (JERUSALEM POST) By TOVAH LAZAROFF 06/18/12)
JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-Top
The government on Sunday voted to remove the issue of West Bank
settlements from its purview and instead handed the matter over to an
11-member ministerial committee, headed by Prime Minister Binyamin
Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar said that the creation of the
committee was a significant policy change.
It marks the first time in 16 years that the government has amended a
1996 decision, Decision 150, taken during Binyamin Netanyahu’s first
term as prime minister. Decision 150 determined that the creation of
new West Bank settlements must have the approval of the full
Now that power, as well as the ability to make decisions with regard
to West Bank settlements on matters of policy and construction, has
been moved to the ministerial committee.
The text of the decision was careful to clarify that the amendment
left intact the portion of Decision 150 that states the defense
minister must also approve land allocation and planning for West Bank
Vice Premier Shaul Mofaz, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Trade,
Industry and Labor Minister Shalom Simhon and Minister Michael Eitan
opposed the decision.
Vice Premier and Negev and Galilee Development Minister Silvan
Shalom, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Energy and
Water Resources Minister Uzi Landau, Immigrant Absorption Minister
Sofa Landver and Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov abstained.
Netanyahu will head the committee. Other members will include,
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Vice
Premiers Shaul Mofaz and Moshe Ya’alon, Minister-without-Portfolio
Benny Begin, Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, Environment
Minister Gilad Erdan, Sa’ar, Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Science
and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz.
Peace Now opposed the committee’s creation. The group´s executive
director, Ya’ariv Oppenheimer, warned that the committee would
authorize illegal settler building and empower settlers at Barak’s
The committee is tasked with issues regarding policy, construction
authorizations and demolitions, including the creation of new Jewish
communities in Judea and Samaria.
It would have the ability to formulate governmental policy with
respect to unauthorized construction, both on state land and on
private Palestinian property.
It would also formulate the principles and policy by which the state
would respond to petitions to the High Court of Justice on land
issues in the West Bank.
Committee decision would carry the weight of a governmental vote.
Ministers would not be able to appeal them. (© 1995-2011, The
Jerusalem Post 06/18/12)
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