Middle East Monitor / December 28, 2019
Israeli defence minister, Naftali Bennett, issued his directions to initiate the registering of settlements in Area C with the Israeli Ministry of Justice, instead of the Civil Administration, Arab48 reported on Friday.
The Israeli Civil Administration is the Israeli Defence Ministry’s body responsible for Israeli activities in the occupied territories.
Israel Hayom reported that Bennett has recently carried out a series of discussions with “professionals” within his ministry, in order to allow the Israeli settlers to register the settlement lands with the Ministry of Justice, instead of registering them through the Civil Administration.
Bennett asked the so-called professionals to study a law allowing Israeli settlers the same privileges as other Israelis in Israel.
With this new measure, Bennett is working to reduce the waiting times for the approval of settlement plans applied for by Israeli settlers.
“This measure is related to imposing procedural sovereignty,” Bennett asserted, according to Israel Hayom.
“There is no reason to discriminated against the residents of the occupied West Bank, they must receive the same services as other citizens in the country,” he added.
Such measures, Israel Hayom disclosed, would facilitate obtaining housing loans by settlers.
Commenting on this report, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates announced that this plan alone would guarantee the classification of Bennett as a war criminal in the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The Foreign Ministry stressed in a statement: “While it strongly condemns these colonialist expansionist instructions and orders, it holds the Israeli government and the occupying power fully and directly responsible for their results and repercussions.”
The Foreign Ministry also called on the ICC to add Bennett to the list of Israeli officials who persist in committing war crimes against the Palestinians.