MK Yariv Levin (Likud) welcomed on Wednesday the conclusions of a panel, headed by retired Supreme Court judge Edmund Levy, that there is no “occupation” and international law allows Jews to live in Judea and Samaria (Yehuda and Shomron).
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Levin, who chairs the Knesset’s House Committee, said, “All the attempts to use legal tools to fight settlements are improper from the ground up. We will receive the report and study it.”
He expressed his hope that the Israeli government will adopt the report and implement it, saying, “I think what is now required is that the government adopt the report as a government decision. First and foremost, this report makes a statement that attempts to present the settlement enterprise as being contrary to international law are wrong.”
He continued, “The second element of the report is a very practical element which calls on the government to regulate and approve many communities that were built with the knowledge of government, with its encouragement and using State funds. We should complete the regulatory process so that residents do not have to constantly deal with petitions and appeals to the Supreme Court.”
MK Levin called on the legal system to stop hearing petitions against the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
“The report did not invent anything new,” he said. “Judge Levy simply repeated the facts. We do not need a stamp, not from gentiles and not from judges. But I'm happy about any statement that reinforces the settlement enterprise. It is our historical right and any attempt to fight this enterprise using legal tools is wrong and hypocritical, and is an abuse of the power and the tools that the Court has.”
The three-man committee headed by Judge Levy concluded that from a historical and legal prospective, and considering agreements with the Palestinian Authority, the international law against “occupation” does not apply to Judea and Samaria.
It noted that Jordan’s assumed sovereignty over most of Judea and Samaria after the 1948 War for Independence was not legally recognized by the international community, meaning that Israel did not “occupy” the same land during the Six-Day War in 1967.
Virtually all of the international community including the United States, has continually labeled Israel as an “occupier” based on the notion that it took over Jordanian land in the war. In fact, the land was administered by Britain under a League of Nations Mandate after World War I and was to be divided between Israel and a new country of Trans-Jordan after the declaration of Israel as an independent country.
Arab nations, including Jordan, did not accept the partition plan and unsuccessfully tried to annihilate the young state of Israel. Jordan then occupied most of Judea and Samaria after the war.
The committee declared that international law does not apply to Judea and Samaria and recommended that the government not destroy houses and expel families from communities that were built with government approval.
It also said that the government should make its policies clear to prevent different interpretations when it approves new communities. The committee suggested that Arabs and Jews register their land claims within four or five years or lose their rights.