Israel will not evacuate more settlements, Netanyahu pledges


Maale Adumim

A view of a portion of the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel will not evacuate any more settlements, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged.

“We are here to stay, forever,” the prime minister said at an event in the northern West Bank settlement of Barkan, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Israel’s settlement of the West Bank. “There will be no more uprooting of settlements in the land of Israel.”

“This is the inheritance of our ancestors. This is our land,” he also said.

Netanyahu noted that areas from which Israel withdrew Israeli citizens and settlements became launching grounds for rockets aimed at Israeli communities.

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“Samaria is a strategic asset for the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “It is the key to our future. Because from these high hills, the heights of Mount Hatzor, we can see the entire country, from one side to the other.”

“So we will not fold. We are guarding Samaria against those who want to uproot us. We will deepen our roots, build, strengthen and settle,” he said.

Netanyahu’s speech comes less than a week after he met with Jewish senior advisor to President Donald Trump and a delegation of U.S. officials to discuss how to restart the Israel-Palestinian peace process.

His visit to Barkan is the third at an official event in the West Bank in recent weeks. Earlier in August he spoke at a ceremony establish a new neighborhood in Beitar Illit and in June, he spoke at ceremony inaugurating a new medical school at Ariel University.

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