Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday morning declared that he wants to “apply Jewish sovereignty to all the [liberated] localities, as parts of the Land of Israel and the State of Israel.”
He added that “there will be no more expulsions.”
The Prime Minister spoke during a visit to a school in the Elkana settlement in the north-western Samarian hills, on the occasion of the start of the new school year.
Netanyahu has been mentioning his support for annexation initiatives more and more since the previous election campaign, when he said: “We are discussing the application of Israeli sovereignty in the territories of Judea and Samaria. I do not differentiate between settlement blocks and individual settlements, any settlement is Israeli territory to me.”
When asked in an interview with News 12 before the last election if he would apply sovereignty to Gush Etzion and Ma’aleh Adumim, Netanyahu replied: “Who said we won’t do that?”
In April, the prime minister stated that, following US recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights, there were discussions of annexing areas in Judea and Samaria: “We are also discussing applying Israeli sovereignty to Ma’aleh Adumim and other matters. Everyone understands that the next term will be critical,” in terms of “guaranteeing our security and the vital territory of Judea and Samaria, which is 20 times more critical than Gaza. Otherwise we will get a Gaza in Judea and Samaria. That’s what is at stake,” Netanyahu said.
In July, the Prime Minister promised not to uproot any settlement in the Land of Israel, neither one belonging to Jews nor to Arabs,” and added, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Samaria Regional Council: “We’re done with this nonsense (of expulsions – DI). It’s a time-bound commitment.”
In his speech in Elkana Sunday morning, the prime minister added: “We’re building new homes here. We’ll build another Elkana and another Elkana and another Elkana. We will not uproot anyone here, there will be no more Gush Katif.”
Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudieneh slammed the Israeli prime minister, and said that the Israeli government continues to pursue this approach, which he stressed is not a solution, by reiterating its calls for the “annexation of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.”