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Panel on Illegal Outposts Says Occupation Is Legal

A report by a committee formed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to examine the legal aspects of West Bank land ownership recommended to sanction all Israeli outposts, rejecting the claim that Israel’s presence in the territory is that of an occupying force.

The Levy Committee, headed by former court vice president Edmond Levy, recommends a fundamental change in the legal regime in the West Bank, including the annulment of a long list of laws, High Court of Justice Rulings and procedures in order to permit Jews to settle in all of Judea and Samaria.

The report has been submitted to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is considering how to respond. The committee was comprised of Levy, retired Tel Aviv District Court Judge Tchia Shapira, and attorney Alan Baker, an expert in international law.

The committee was set up in January following pressure by settlement leaders to produce a legal report in response to the report submitted by Talia Sasson in 2005 on illegal outposts that had been commissioned by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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