... for persecution is worse than slaughter..(part of 2:191)
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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Israel cabinet approves committee to oversee West Bank settlement construction.

An outpost near the Mitzpe Kramim settlement in the West Bank
An outpost near the Mitzpe Kramim settlement in the West Bank. Photo by Michal Fattal

The government approved the establishment of a ministerial committee headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday morning to deal with issues relating to settlement construction.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who gives the final say on all matters relating to settlement construction, voted against the decision, despite the fact that the wording of the decision clearly stated that his authority would not be affected. Vice Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz also voted against the decision, along with several other ministers.
The establishment of the committee was one of the steps announced by Netanyahu to garner the support of right-wing ministers to vote against a bill aimed at regulating West Bank outposts. Netanyahu presented the option as a response to the ministers who sought to transfer the decision-making process over settlement building from Barak to a ministerial committee.
The responsibilities of the committee were designated vaguely, including the formation of an official governmental policy regarding unregulated building in the West Bank.