Israeli official calls for criminal enforcement against illegal settlements 23May13 May 23, 2013

Palestine News Network     -    22 May 2013

pal_building_home_340_220Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein claimed Tuesday that the Israeli Defense Force Civil Administration needs to create an investigatory unit to enforce criminal law against illegal settler building in the West Bank.

Weinstein said that there is no criminal enforcement against the illegal construction because there is no official body to investigate.

Weinstein appealed to Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’ala, calling for the creation of such a body in the Civil Administration. Illegal settler building in the West Bank is an important issue that can be solved with an investigatory body, he said.

Weinstein said he made a similar appeal to the Israel’s former Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, to no avail.

Yegal Delmonti, spokesman for the Council of the Jewish Communities of Judea and Samari, said Weinstein’s letter to the Israel’s Defense Minister falsely portrays settlers as law breakers. He said he thinks the laws need to be replaced to legalize unauthorized Jewish building.

Attorney Michael Sfard, who often represents NGO’s such as Peace Now in Israeli courts, said the Civil Administration once had a body to criminally investigate and sue Palestinians for construction in the West Bank, but not Israelis.

He said that some of his cases filed by Peace Now emphasized the lack of criminal enforcement for illegal Israeli construction in the West Bank.

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