Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein
Photo: Hagai Fried

Likud mulls 'AG bypass' on West Bank outposts

Ministers support PM Netanyahu's proposal to form review panel to retroactively sanction illegal outposts; suggest government retains independent counsel to go head to head with Attorney General's Office on the matter

The Likud faction discussed a proposal that may retroactively legitimize structures built on Palestinian land in the West Bank, Ynet learned on Monday.


The initiative was reportedly put forth by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who suggested a committee be formed to explore the possibility.


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Ministers Yuli Edelstein, Moshe Yaalon, Limor Livnat and Gilad Erdan voiced their support of the idea. Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Edelstein added that it would be "grievously wrong" for the government to sanction any such eviction or razing.


Assuming it is highly likely that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein would object to such a committee, Environmental Protection Minister Erdan suggested that the faction seek legal counsel from a private attorney, to represent the government on the matter.

נתניהו בישיבת הסיעה, "הצעות טובות" (צילום: גיל יוחנן)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


"If the AG is so vehemently opposed to legitimizing outposts… it is not without precedent for the government to retain outside council. This is not a run of the mill case and we should choose a lawyer."


Minister for Strategic Affairs Yaalon said that outpost construction was "done with full authority and permission," and that the activity could not be hindered.


Minister Benny Begin, however, said that the faction could not name a committee meant to circumvent the law: "With all do respect, we cannot risk the entire settlement movement for the sake of a few hundred homes."


MK Yariv Levin added that "such a legal premise may cost us the entire settlement movement"; while MK Tzipi Hotovely urged the faction to explore all the alternatives, such as land compensation to the Palestinians – a notion which Netanyahu agreed should be explored further.


Netanyahu's "post-construction" initiative irked Washington. The US State Department said the Administration would oppose such a move, "Which will hinder he efforts to promote the peace process and goes against Israel's commitments."






פרסום ראשון: 10.31.11, 21:40
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