In lieu of settlement annexation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must protect the entirety of the West Bank’s Area C for future Israeli sovereignty, the Knesset Land of Israel Caucus said on Wednesday as it pushed back against US President Donald Trump’s peace plan.The 43-member caucus, which has long campaigned for the application of Israeli sovereignty over all of the West Bank’s Area C, spoke out in the aftermath of the suspension of plans to annex 50% of Area C as outlined Trump’s peace plan, in exchange for a peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.The caucus called on Netanyahu to strengthen existing settlements slated for annexation and expressed particular concern for the 50% of Area C, which under the Trump plan, is designated for a Palestinian state. It wants that territory to be preserved for Israel.Three Knesset meetings were held on the matter over the summer, two before the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and one by the caucus.In its letter to Netanyahu on Wednesday, the caucus said, “We insist that this ‘waiting period’ for application of sovereignty, will be a period that strengthens our hold on the Land of Israel, especially those areas of weakness revealed by the Trump plan.”“We ask you to advance [four steps] in the coming days, which are the critical minimum required to strengthen our hold on Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley,” the caucus said in its letter signed by the group’s co-chairs, MKs Bezalel Smotrich (Yamina) and Haim Katz (Likud).It called for Netanyahu to authorize some 70 outposts, many of which are located outside the initial Trump sovereignty map published in January.Netanyahu has persistently insisted that no Jews will be uprooted from Judea and Samaria. Under the Trump sovereignty map, all existing settlements would be annexed. But settlers have feared that if the Trump sovereignty map were to be executed, many of the outposts would have to be evacuated.The caucus told Netanyahu that an arrangement to authorize the outposts had laid on his desk for more than two years. Under its terms, many of the outposts would be authorized as neighborhoods of existing settlements. Those communities that could not be legally declared neighborhoods should be authorized as independent settlements, the caucus said.“It is only through this way we can ensure that no community is left behind when sovereignty is back on the agenda,” the caucus said.Secondly, it called on Netanyahu to convene the Higher Planning Council for Judea and Samaria, which last met to advance building plans for West Bank settlements in February of this year. At issue are plans for some 6,000 units slated to come before the council, the caucus said.An emphasis should be placed on advancing plans to strengthen those settlements, which would be turned into enclaves under the Trump plan, the caucus said.Next, it asked for Netanyahu to provide the IDF’s Civil Administration with more financial resources to advance settlement plans, noting that many projects were on hold for lack of manpower.Lastly, the caucus asked that steps be taken to preserve state land in Area C, particularly in areas beyond the boundary of the Trump sovereignty map. At issue in particular is the concern by caucus members that Palestinians will build illegally in that area.The caucus has asked Netanyahu to set aside that territory for agriculture, grazing land and or the planting of new forests.The Palestinian Authority holds that all of Area C should be part of its final borders and the international community supports that stance.The Israeli Left has argued that this state land in Area C should be open to Palestinian development. At present, Palestinians have few options for legal building in Area C and rarely receive permits to do so.The caucus and right-wing politicians believe any territory that is used by Palestinians for development, either legal or legally, will eventually be part of a Palestinian state. It is determined to preserve that territory for eventual Israeli sovereignty.In its letter to Netanyahu, the caucus said it had no doubt that the prime minister would promote these steps on the ground and support those measures internationally so that the necessity, legality and justice of these moves were understood.Separately, Transportation Minister Miri Regev met Tuesday with Yesha Council head David Elhayani and other settler leaders. She promised to advance a five-year transportation plan to better connect the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria with sovereign Israel.