Despite expected establishment of committee on settlement affairs, Defense Ministry sources say Ehud Barak’s jurisdiction over settlement matters will not diminish
By Attila Somfalvi
The Government is expected to approve the establishment of a Ministerial Committee for Settlement Affairs led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during its Sunday session. However, sources in the Defense Ministry have said that the PM’s move, which is meant to placate right-wing ministers and settlers, will not rescind Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s authority over settlement matters.
The committee, which was established last week as the settlement regulation bill failed to pass its Knesset vote, will be authorized to present government policy pertaining to unregulated construction on private and State land, including fundamental issues that will reach the courts.
Moreover, the committee decisions will have the validity of undisputable government decisions.
The committee will also include Minister Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz, Vice Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya’alon, Minister Benny Begin, Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar and Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan.
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