JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel will not evacuate any more settlements, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged.
“We are here to stay, forever,” the prime minister said at an event in the northern West Bank settlement of Barkan, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Israel’s settlement of the West Bank. “There will be no more uprooting of settlements in the land of Israel.”
“This is the inheritance of our ancestors. This is our land,” he also said.
Netanyahu noted that areas from which Israel withdrew Israeli citizens and settlements became launching grounds for rockets aimed at Israeli communities.
“Samaria is a strategic asset for the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “It is the key to our future. Because from these high hills, the heights of Mount Hatzor, we can see the entire country, from one side to the other.”
“So we will not fold. We are guarding Samaria against those who want to uproot us. We will deepen our roots, build, strengthen and settle,” he said.
Netanyahu’s speech comes less than a week after he met with Jewish senior advisor to President Donald Trump and a delegation of U.S. officials to discuss how to restart the Israel-Palestinian peace process.