State Dept. opposes report that states legal case for West Bank Jewish communities

( A report made public Monday by the Commission to Examine the Status of Building in Judea and Samaria—a legal panel headed by retired Israeli Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy—concluded that Israel’s presence in the area cannot defined as “occupation.” 

The Levy Committee, formed in January, explained that there is no provision making the Jewish population in the area illegal under international law. The report says Israelis “have the legal right to settle in Judea and Samaria and the establishment of settlements cannot, in and of itself, be considered to be illegal,” the report reads.

Reacting to the Israeli report, U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said,  “we do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, and we oppose any effort to legalize settlement outposts.”

No legal entity, including Jordan, “has ever had its sovereignty over [Judea and Samaria] cemented under international law,” the Levy Committee said, meaning that the classical definition of “occupation” could not be applied to Jewish communities there.

Posted on July 11, 2012 .