Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) attends a meeting of the Likud party in the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not be able to make concessions to the Palestinians in a diplomatic process initiated by US President Donald Trump, activists in his party vowed on Wednesday.
The activists submitted the 800 signatures of Likud central committee members required to convene the committee within a month to vote on a decision that could tie Netanyahu’s hands.
“Following 50 years since the liberation of Judea and Samaria and our eternal capital, Jerusalem, the Likud central committee calls upon the Likud’s elected officials to act to enable unlimited construction and apply Israeli law and sovereignty upon all the settled communities in Judea and Samaria,” the decision says.
Shevah Stern, who chairs the committee’s nationalist group, insisted that the timing of submitting the signatures is related to the anniversary of the Six Day War, not Trump’s visit next week. But he said he does not mind if it is seen as connected.
“From our point of view, it’s a statement not to Trump,” Stern said. “It’s a statement by the Likud to Netanyahu, the ministers, and the MKs. If the result will be that Netanyahu tells Trump that settling the land is holy for us, we will welcome that. We want building freely and sovereignty, and not gestures made at our expense.”
Close to half the Likud faction signed the petition, including Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis and Minister-without-Portfolio Ayoub Kara.
“We see ourselves as free to build in Judea and Samaria, and we expect construction to increase massively after Trump’s visit,” Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said.
Netanyahu decided on Wednesday to give the Communications Ministry to Levin after Tzachi Hanegbi held it on a temporary basis.
Levin rejected the offer.