Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on October 10 that Israel will never abandon the settlements in the Jordan Valley.
Netanyahu called Jordan Valley ‘strategic defensive belt for the country’ in ceremony marking 50 years of Israeli settlement there.
“The Jordan Valley will always remain a part of Israel. We will continue to settle it, invest in infrastructure and tourism,” he said during a speech at a ceremony marking 50 years of Israeli settlement there.
Regarding the Jordan Valley settlements, Netanyahu said Israel will never abandon them “because they are of utmost security importance to Israel.” He said: “The Middle East is fickle and violent. The Jordan Valley is a strategic defensive belt for the state. Without it, a flood of fundamentalism could enter the country and reach as far as the Dan region. That’s why our eastern line of defense begins in this place.”
“This isn’t just a question of ties to the homeland. First and foremost, that isn’t the way to make peace. It’s not peace we got when we uprooted settlements; we got terror and missiles,” he said, referring to Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005. “Therefore, we won’t repeat this. Every area that falls into the hands of radical Islam becomes a base for destruction, violence and death. we won’t abandon our national home to danger.”
Netanyahu previously approved building plans for 3,736 new units in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank on October 9. According to the Washington Post, most nations consider this and continued Israeli occupation of the West Bank in violation of international law, though Israel disputes this.
Over most of its length, the Jordan Valley forms the border between Jordan to the east, and Israel and the West Bank, a contentious territory the bulk of which is occupied by Israel, to the west. The details are regulated by the Israel–Jordan peace treaty of 1994, which establishes an “administrative boundary” between Jordan and the West Bank, occupied by Israel in 1967, without prejudice to the status of that territory.