Right dismisses Netanyahu’s pledge to annex and not uproot settlements

“What is happening now in Judea and Samaria, is exactly the opposite of sovereignty. It is a lack of sovereignty,” said Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shlomo Na’aman.

An Israeli flag is seen at the Elon Moreh settlements, one of 15 pending enclave communities under the Trump plan. (photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
An Israeli flag is seen at the Elon Moreh settlements, one of 15 pending enclave communities under the Trump plan.
(photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
Right-wing politicians and settler leaders have dismissed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s public pledge to annex West Bank settlements and not uproot settlers.
“What is happening now in Judea and Samaria is exactly the opposite of sovereignty. It is a lack of sovereignty,” Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shlomo Ne’eman said.
Netanyahu, “who promised” sovereignty, has brought a de facto freeze in settler building plans that is akin to what occurred during the period of former US president Barack Obama, Southern Hebron Hills Regional Council head Yochai Damri said.
Netanyahu has been elected three times in the last two years on the basis of his pledge for sovereignty, and instead, he revived the idea of a Palestinian state in an underhanded way, Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan said.
He agreed to a plan that provides for a “left-wing map” [and] that is essentially a “map of withdrawal,” he said
In the end, “he couldn’t withstand the American pressure and gave up on sovereignty in an embarrassing way,” Dagan said.
The Right also used Netanyahu’s words to promote one of the agenda items topmost on their minds, the fate of some 70 West Bank outposts.
Setters and right-wing politicians had feared those outposts would be evacuated under US President Donald Trump’s Peace Plan because they were not included in Trump’s sovereignty map of the 30% of the West Bank, which Israel would be allowed to annex.
That annexation plan was suspended for an indefinite period as a condition for Israel’s burgeoning peace deal with the United Arab Emirates.
But on Sunday, Netanyahu attempted to reach out to his opponents on the Right and within the settlement movement as he took part in a press conference with US Special Adviser Jared Kushner and US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.
“No one will be uprooted,” Netanyahu said. “Areas of Jewish population and areas vital to Israel’s security are envisioned being incorporated to sovereign Israel, and Israel retains overriding security control in the areas west of the Jordan River, both on the ground and in the air.”
He warned that the opposite would happen unless Israel supports Trump’s peace plan.
“Without Trump’s peace plan, Israel would have to withdraw to the indefensible ’67 lines and expel more than 100,000 Jews from their homes in our own ancestral homeland,” Netanyahu said.
In response, the Land of Israel Caucus said it had filed a bill to authorize the outposts. The necessity for such a bill had already been made clear to it last week when the High Court of Justice ruled that more than 30 structures in the Mitzpe Kramim outpost, where some 250 people live, must be evacuated within three years.
“Without authorization, Netanyahu’s promises will never be brought to fruition,” Caucus co-chairs MKs Haim Katz (Likud) and Bezalel Smotrich (Yamina) said in a statement.
“Trump’s plan taught us one thing: that a community [outpost] that is not authorized will find itself outside the sovereignty map,” they said.
The fate of these outposts would be even worse than that of the settlement enclaves in Trump’s map, they said, which they fear would also eventually be destroyed.
“This is an unsustainable situation that must be immediately corrected,” they said.
Over the weekend, Netanyahu had promised to work to authorize Mitzpe Kramim, and on Sunday, Settlement Affairs Minister Tzachi Hanegbi met with its residents.
Caucus chairs said Netanyahu’s words were welcomed, but in reality, due to the diplomatic situation that has now unfolded, all the outposts are in danger and not just Mitzpe Kramim.
Dagan and Ne’eman said if Netanyahu’s words were correct, then he should convene a meeting of the Higher Planning Council.
The council, which is tasked with advancing projects, has not met since February. As a result, plans for 6,000 units have not been advanced.
“The 100 days of grace given [to the] government have passed, and not only has sovereignty receded since then, but now we are also not given the basic [building] permits to live a normal life,” Na’aman said.