Israel Political Brief July 10, 2012: President Shimon Peres Calls Settlements a Threat to Israel

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Settlements a threat to Israel, Peres says

Source: JTA, 7-10-12

Israeli President Shimon Peres called West Bank settlements a threat to Israel.

The remarks, made Tuesday at the annual ceremony in memory of Zionism founder Theodor Herzl, appeared to address a report released Sunday that said “Israel does not meet the criteria of ‘military occupation’ as defined under international law” in the West Bank, and that therefore settlements and West Bank outposts are legal.

“It is doubtful that a Jewish state without a Jewish majority can remain Jewish,” Peres said, inferring that settlements would lead to the inextricable inclusion of the Palestinians living on the West Bank….READ MORE

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Full Text Israel Political Brief July 9, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Comments on Retired Judge Edmund Levy’s Report on West Bank Settlements

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

PM Netanyahu Comments on Retired Judge Edmund Levy’s Report

Source: PMO, 7-9-12

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today commented on retired Supreme Court Judge Edmund Levy’s report:

“First of all, I very much appreciate the efforts of Judge Levy and the people who worked with him. They did serious, quiet work over long months. I will submit this report to the Ministerial Committee on Settlement Affairs that I established and we will discuss it and make a decision.

This is important. This report, in my opinion, discusses the question of the legality and legitimacy of the settlement movement in Judea and Samaria on the basis of the facts and claims that merit serious examination.”

The Commision to Examine the Status of Building In Judea and Samaria – Conclusion and Recommendations — Full Text PDF

Israel Political Brief July 9, 2012: The Levy Committee: West Bank Settlements & Outposts Legal Under International Law

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Israeli panel: West Bank settlements, outposts legal under int’l law

Source: JTA, 7-9-12

West Bank settlements are legal under international law, according to an Israeli committee set up to review the legal status of West Bank land.

The Levy Committee, which was formed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and headed by former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy, said in its 89-page report released late Sunday that “Israel does not meet the criteria of ‘military occupation’ as defined under international law” in the West Bank, and that therefore settlements and West Bank outposts are legal.

The report recommends changing the legal regulations concerning Jewish settlement in the West Bank in the areas of zoning, demolitions and building….READ MORE

The Commision to Examine the Status of Building In Judea and Samaria – Conclusion and Recommendations — Full Text PDF

Israel Political Brief June 20, 2012: State Comptroller’s Report Blames PM Benjamin Netanyahu & Government Officials for Deadly Carmel Forest Fire

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Report blames Israel’s Netanyahu for deadly fire

Source: AP, 6-20-12

A new report by Israel’s government watchdog blames Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior officials for mismanaging the worst fire in the country’s history, a devastating blaze that took 44 lives in 2010.

Report on Carmel Forest fire blames government officials

Source: JTA, 6-20-12

A special report by Israel’s state comptroller on the 2010 Carmel Forest fire blamed several government officials for the four-day blaze.

The report presented Wednesday by outgoing State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss said Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz bear “special responsibility” for the response, and that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch bear “complete responsibility.”

It did not suggest any consequences for the public officials. “That is a clear political question best left to the Knesset and the public,” Lindenstrauss wrote.

The December 2010 fire killed 44 people, destroyed 18 houses and damaged 173. Some 17,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes, more than 12,000 acres were burned and an estimated 5 million trees were lost. Some 38 planes and helicopters from 12 countries helped extinguish the blaze.

Documents cited by the report show that Yishai was aware that the Fire and Rescue Services suffered from a severe shortage of equipment, personnel, and command and control methods, but did not act on that knowledge. Yishai has denied the accusations and blamed others for the failures.

The report blamed Steinitz for making the requested budget allocations conditional on sweeping reforms.

Netanyahu was assigned complete responsibility based on his position, and for not attempting to mediate between Yishai and Steinitz.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office pointed out that some of the deficiencies enumerated in the report were corrected immediately after the Carmel disaster.

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