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Confirmed: Bibi Shelving Pro-Settlement Report

Sources say Netanyahu is burying the pro-settlement Levy report for ‘diplomatic reasons.’ US elections may be a factor.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 9/30/2012, 12:36 AM

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Several weeks ago the historic Levy Report declared that Judea and Samaria are not “occupied,” and that Israelis have the legal right to live in the area. The ground-breaking report was welcomed by the political right.

However, in the weeks since, it has been quietly pushed aside. The report’s findings have not been the subject of discussion in government - not even in the ministerial committee for settlement.

Likud MKs and ministers who have spoken to Arutz Sheva in recent weeks have admitted to confusion over the complete lack of attention to the report. MK Tzipi Hotovely said she believes Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who established the Levy Commission, wants to see discussion of the report. However, she was unable to explain why, if Netanyahu wants to pursue the matter, it has not been pushed forward.

In another interview, Minister Yuli Edelstein said Netanyahu had promised him that the matter would be brought before a ministerial committee in September. September is now coming to an end, and the promised discussion has yet to take place.

A senior Likud source who spoke to Arutz Sheva this week on condition of anonymity revealed that Netanyahu is indeed ignoring the report for “diplomatic reasons.” It was not clear if Netanyahu was concerned over possible negative reactions to the report, or simply is choosing to focus on other matters, including the Iranian threat.

A second Likud source suggested that the United States presidential elections may be a factor. Netanyahu may wait to see who wins before choosing his next move, the source said, noting that if current U.S. President Barack Obama is reelected Israel is expected to come under unprecedented diplomatic pressure.

A third source, Vice-Premier Moshe Yaalon, recently spoke of the Levy Report during an interview with B’Sheva magazine. Yaalon told B’Sheva that he supports the report, but prefers not to discuss a timetable for discussing and implementing due to factors on both the local and international scene.