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MK Hotovely: Levy Report Should Mean a Major Change

MK Tzipi Hotovely: Today more than ever, we need a major change in Israel’s approach to Judea and Samaria
By Elad Benari & Hezki Ezra
First Publish: 7/12/2012, 7:21 AM

MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), who is preparing a bill that will require the government to adopt the principles of the Levy Report, spoke to Arutz Sheva about the report on Wednesday.

The report was written by a three-member team headed by retired Supreme Court justice Edmund Levy. The report 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 (Yehuda and Shomron).

“The Edmund Levy report made a very clear legal statement,” said Hotovely. “It said that every Israeli government can build anywhere in Judea and Samaria and it said, in a very clear voice, that this is not conquered land when it comes to international law.”

She added, “I think that today, more than ever, we need a major change in the State of Israel’s approach to those areas. We saw too many restrictions that are coming from the international community about building and the legality of those communities. Now it’s clear: Every community, every outpost [in Judea and Samaria] is totally legal. The government is the only body that can actually decide where to build and how much to build.”

Hotovely pointed out that the current Israeli government is a nationalist government which got the support of the Israeli public so it can develop the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria.

“I’m very happy that today, after this report, it’s going to be much easier to build without any restrictions and without any delegitimization and claims of illegality. I’m going to put a bill on the Knesset’s table that says that we should adopt all those important conclusions in an Israeli legislation. I call it the start of the process of normalization of Judea and Samaria.”

On Wednesday, officials in Ramallah slammed the Netanyahu government's plans to accept the conclusion of the Levy Report.

“We will not sign any peace agreement if there is a [single] settlement on Palestinian Land,” Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman Nabil Abu Rodier said.

The Obama administration was also critical of the report, with State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell reiterating that the U.S. does not accept “the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity and we oppose any effort to legalize settlement outposts.”