Netanyahu promises new settlement for Amona evacuees ahead of Greenblatt meeting

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assured the residents of the evacuated outpost of Amona that he would honor his commitment to them to “build a new community,” hours before a meeting with an envoy of the Trump administration.

Netanyahu was scheduled to meet Thursday, for the second time this week, with Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s adviser on international relations, who has been touring Israel and the Palestinian areas since Monday to gauge attitudes to peacemaking. Netanyahu met with Greenblatt on Monday; the envoy also met this week in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as with with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Israeli military officials, Palestinian children in a West Bank refugee camp, and Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Aman.

Netanyahu reiterated his promise to build the first official new settlement in 25 years during a meeting of his Cabinet on Thursday morning.

“We are in the midst of a process of dialogue with the White House and our intention is to reach an agreed-upon policy regarding settlement construction. Agreed-upon for us, of course, not just for the American side. Naturally, this will be good for the State of Israel since we have not been in these processes for many years. To the residents of Amona, I reiterate: I gave you a promise to build a new community and I will honor that commitment,” the prime minister said.

Netanyahu told lawmakers that he will visit China next week, at the invitation of the Chinese president in order to mark 25 years of relations between the two countries. He pointed out that he met last week with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow and that the previous day he met in Jerusalem both with the President of Bosnia and the Foreign Minister of Italy.


“Israel is in a period of diplomatic progress,” Netanyahu said. “Not all of the problems have been solved and this is not to say that the countries agree with us on everything. But the great continuity of meetings, also with the leaders of the world’s major powers and the meetings with leaders who come here on a daily basis … show that Israel is becoming a global power in knowledge and technology, and is becoming an important element in the international arena.”