JERUSALEM—The Likud party central committee has voted to exercise Israeli sovereignty over Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.
“To mark 50 years to the liberation of Judea and Samaria, including Jerusalem our eternal capital, the Likud Central Committee calls on Likud officials to act so as to enable free construction and to apply Israeli law and sovereignty in all the liberated settlements in Judea and Samaria,” read the resolution passed by the committee.
By enacting civilian law over settlements, the move could streamline procedures for their construction and expansion. That land is currently under military jurisdiction and Israel’s defense minister has a final say on building there.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was a notable absentee from the event held at the Airport City convention center.
Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein told the 1,500 delegates attending the event that United States President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital had “opened a new chapter with regard to how the international community views Israel, Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.”
“Now is the time for sovereignty, now it is all up to us,” said Edelstein, adding that the first step should be legislation to connect the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim to Jerusalem.
Likud Central Committee Chairman Haim Katz said the decision was “recognition of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem as integral and indivisible parts of the State of Israel whose laws would now apply, meaning there would no longer be a need for an order [from the defense minister]in order to build a school.”
Gideon Sa’ar, a former MK and Education Minister, who is considered a potential candidate to challenge eventually for leadership of Likud, said that with some 500,000 Israelis living beyond the Green Line it was no longer possible to use the same legal tools that had been used up to now
Naftali Bennett, leader of the Jewish Home party, a senior member of the coalition, welcomed the decision, calling it another step on the way to “ridding ourselves of the dangerous notion of a Palestinian state.”