‘Don’t wait for Trump, rebuild 4 razed Samaria settlements’

“We do not have to wait for what Trump will say in the US or what the European Union will say: We should be on the offensive, not the defensive,” Yossi Dagan said.

April 28, 2019 19:43
2 minute read.
‘Don’t wait for Trump, rebuild 4 razed Samaria settlements’

United Right MK Bezalel Smotrich [with the red fez] and Samaria Regional Council Head Yossi Dagan [L] at a celebration of the feast of Mimouna. . (photo credit: ROEE HADI)

Israel must rebuild the four northern Samaria settlements that it destroyed as part of the 2005 Disengagement, without waiting for approval from US President Donald Trump, Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan said late Saturday night.

“It will be a good summer if there is a construction boom. It will be a good summer if new settlements are established. It will be a good summer if one can return to the four northern Samaria settlements,” Dagan said as he spoke at a special Bnei Akiva Mamouna celebration in the Etz Efraim settlement.

“We do not have to wait for what Trump will say in the US or what the European Union will say: We should be on the offensive, not the defensive,” Dagan said.

“Already in the first Knesset session we must demand the repeal of the [2005] Disengagement Law in northern Samaria and to build anew the [four] northern Samaria communities, which were uprooted,” he said.

In 2005 Israel withdrew from Gaza, destroying 21 settlements there. It also destroyed four West Bank settlements in northern Samaria: Homesh, Sa-Nur, Gadim and Kadim. The territory is considered a closed IDF military zone.

The Samaria Regional Council has long pushed to place the territory under IDF civilian control as a first step to rebuilding the four communities. The issue is a personal one for Dagan, who is an evacuee from Sa-Nur.

He spoke out about the matter as he sat with MK Bezalel Smotrich of the Union of Right-wing Parties.

Smotrich assured Dagan that repealing the law is one of the party’s coalition demands. URP is still negotiating with the Likud over those demands. In a symbolic move, the party wants to rescind all portions of the 2005 Disengagement Law – except for those that require the Gaza and northern Samaria evacuees to receive governmental compensation.

Such a move would be considered a governmental apology for the Disengagement. But in practice, the only impact of such a move would be to open the door to reestablish the four settlements. It is not possible to rebuild the Gaza communities, because Israel withdrew militarily from the area, which is now under Hamas control.

The URP also wants Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make good on his pledge to annex the West Bank settlements, all of which are located in Area C of the West Bank, which is under Israeli military and civilian control. Settlers are concerned, however, that they might lose the option to include the four razed Samaria settlements in any sovereignty drive, if such a move happens before the Disengagement Law is repealed.

Smotrich said on Saturday night that he hoped the people of Israel and the government were at the start of four good years during which “we will also return northern Samaria” and the “Disengagement Law will be repealed.”

“We have made this a coalition demand,” he said.

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