The Israeli Prime Minister has once again confirmed that he is going to honor his commitment to build a new settlement in the West Bank.
On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated his promise to build a new settlement in the occupied West Bank, the Reuters news agency reported. The remark was made just before a meeting with US President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt. The promised settlement would become the first built in the West Bank since 1999.
“To the settlers of Amona, I repeat, I gave you a commitment to build a new settlement and I will honor my commitment,” Netanyahu said.
The Israeli leader also expressed his hope that Tel Aviv and Washington will be able to reach an agreement on future Israeli settlements on the land that Palestinians want for a state.
“We are in talks with the White House and our intention is to reach an agreed policy for building in settlements which is agreeable to us, not only to the Americans,” Netanyahu said.
The Amona settlement was built in 1995 without any government authorization. Last month, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that 40 homes that made up the settlement must be removed, as they are located on privately owned Palestinian land. Amona was razed.
Far-right coalition partners put pressure on Netanyahu in order to make him to fulfill the promise, given to Amona’s residents. However, Trump asked the Israeli Prime Minister to “hold back on settlements for a little bit” during a meeting in Washington.
About 2.8 million of Palestinians and 385,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank, while other 200,000 of Israelis inhabit in East Jerusalem.
Israel and the Palestinians suspended their peace talks, in which settlements were one of the most heated issues, in 2014. The Palestinians believe that they should own the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip for their own state.
At the same time, most countries of the international community consider the fact of building Israeli settlements on lands, captured during the 1967 Middle East war, as illegal. Israel does not agree and makes reference to historical and political links to the land, as well as to the country’s security interests.