Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the North of Israel with US Ambassador David Friedman and National Security Advisor John Bolton, June 23, 2019.
(photo credit: KOBI GIDON / GPO)
Israel has no intention of evacuating any of the West Bank settlements in any peace plan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday night during a celebratory event marking the 40th anniversary of the Samaria Regional Council.
“I will not allow the uprooting of any settlement in Israel in any diplomatic [peace] plan. We simply won’t uproot communities: not of Jews and not of Arabs,” Netanyahu said to the thousands of people who took part in the celebration.
As he spoke, he stood under strobe lights on a temporary stage set up on a large dirt lot in the Revava settlement.
“We are not uprooting people: We are done with all that foolishness,” Netanyahu said as he pledged not to “repeat the mistakes of the past,” such as the 2005 disengagement of 25 settlements: four in Samaria and 21 in Gaza.
“You all know what happened when we uprooted communities. did we get peace? No – we got terror and missiles,” Netanyahu said.
He set out his principles for any future diplomatic deal to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“Judea and Samaria is our homeland. This is our land; we will continue to develop it and to build here. In any diplomatic plan, I will not allow the uprooting of a single settlement or a single settler – not a single settler,” he said.
The IDF will continue to operate in all of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley, the prime minister said. He promised to work to gain international acceptance for these principles.
“Look what I did in the Golan. Look what I did in Jerusalem. There is more to come,” he said.
When speaking with international leaders, Netanyahu said, he passes on an essential Zionist truth that “the Nation of Israel” belongs in its home in Samaria.
This region is not just the nation’s birthright, but the nation’s guard tower, he said. Try to imagine, he told the audience, what would happen to Ben-Gurion International Airport or to Route 6, if it were not protected by Israel’s presence in Samaria.
Some of his words were a stump speech for the election. Netanyahu said that the choice is between a weak leadership that wants to once again execute the kind of concessions that have brought the nation to the edge of the abyss, or a leadership that has preserved Israel's security and taken the country to new heights. “Simply put,” he said, “vote for us [Likud].”
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan called for a million residents in Judea and Samaria and urged Netanyahu to authorize new settlements to achieve that goal.
“This is the time to apply sovereignty to Judea and Samaria,” he said.
He called on Netanyahu to rebuild the four Samaria settlements, which the IDF destroyed in 2005.
“We did not come just to speak about history, but to write its next chapter. We are embarking on a mission for 40 more years in Samaria,” he said.
Dagan lauded Netanyahu as a leader who has put Israel on the map.
“The people of Samaria are with you,” Dagan said, adding that he was certain Netanyahu would continue to lead the country for “many years to come.”
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