US State Department comes out against settlement report

‘We oppose any effort to legalize settlement outposts,’ spokesman says about panel’s findings that Israel is not an occupying force in the West Bank

Young boy in the West Bank outpost of Migron (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Young boy in the West Bank outpost of Migron (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The US government came out Monday against the findings of the Levy Committee Report, which recommended legalizing most West Bank outposts and facilitating the growth of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Speaking to reporters, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said that the US did not accept the document, which was released on Monday by a government-sponsored legal team.

“The US position on settlements is clear,” Ventrell said. “Obviously, we’ve seen the reports that an Israeli government appointed panel has recommended legalizing dozens of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, but we do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, and we oppose any effort to legalize settlement outposts.”

Ventrell’s statements came ahead of this week’s visit to Israel by Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and next week’s visit by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The Levy report drew condemnation from the left, and from lawyer Talia Sasson, who wrote a previous report calling the outposts illegal. Politicians on the right called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept the Levy commission’s findings.

Netanyahu said he had formed a ministerial panel to study the report, which he commissioned.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed