Interior Minister and Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri last week told a group of Shas MKs during a tour of the Jordan valley that his ministry is already getting ready to impose Israeli sovereignty on the settlements, Matzav Haruach reported Friday.
Deri said that his ministry had begun to train employees on the preparation of everything necessary to impose sovereignty, including all the needed bureaucratic work.
Deri revealed that it might be necessary to conduct new municipal elections in the different settlement councils the minute they are annexed, because the terms of the serving heads of councils would have to be re-set. This is because although all the heads of councils in Judea and Samaria were elected democratically, officially their power stems from the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, which is controlled by the defense ministry.
“We are preparing all this bureaucratic infrastructure, it’s no trivial matter,” Deri related. “There are many judicial and registration questions, which we accept lovingly and with great anticipation. We recognize the authority of the heads of councils at the interior ministry. We’ll take care of them authoritatively and legally, more than we are able to do today.”
Efrat councilman Avraham Ben-Tzvi responded to the report declaring, “What a waste of taxpayer money. The Local Councils Ordinance allows the interior minister to establish local and regional councils including appointment of the initial council and mayor. All he has to do is write in the Order that the current councils and mayors elected in 2018 under the military order are all now appointed as the councils and mayors to the “new” municipalities established under the new civilian Order.”
The Shas MKs visited Mevo’ot Yeriho, just north of Jericho, a settlement founded in 1999 which has been approved by the government only recently. The MKs were accompanied by several settler leaders, including Zeev Chaver (Zambish), sec-gen of Amana; Yochai Damri, head of Har Hebron Regional Council; and Eliahu Gafni, head of the Emanuel Local Council.
David Alhiani, head of Yesha Council, did not participate because he was in Washington to attend the Trump peace deal ceremony.