Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Jurists back legalizing West Bank outposts

From CBNews.com, July 09, 2012:


JERUSALEM: A [panel of jurists] has recommended that Israel legalize dozens of unsanctioned West Bank settlement outposts....
The panel of jurists, headed by former Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy, also concluded that the West Bank is not occupied territory and therefore Israel has the legal right to settle it...
...Dozens of outposts dot the West Bank, in addition to more than 120 full-fledged settlements.
Baker, [one of the committee members and] a former legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry who is now a fellow at a conservative think-tank, said the outposts were not authorized because of international pressure and urged their approval.
"Nothing here was inherently illegal," he said, adding that any Palestinian claims to owning lands where outposts stand should be referred to a court.
...The committee also concluded Israel can settle the West Bank, which it never officially annexed. Baker said the area is not sovereign territory and therefore, "the actual act of settling the West Bank is not illegal."
Israel captured the West Bank, now home to some 2.5 million Palestinians, from Jordan. Jordan had annexed the West Bank in 1948 in a move not recognized by most of the international community, but renounced all claims to the territory in 1988.
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