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Netanyahu promises no more settlement evacuations in West Bank visit

In a meeting with settler leaders and residents of the Netiv Ha’avot outpost, whose homes built on private Palestinian land were demolished last June, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vows that no settlements will be uprooted in any future peace agreement so long as he is prime minister.

“As far as I am concerned, there will not be anymore uprooting of communities or the cessation of (building in) communities, but rather the exact opposite. The land of Israel is ours and it will remain ours. What has fallen will be rebuilt. It is ours. We are building here, and you are living here,” says Netanyahu in the living room of one of the families whose home was demolished.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) meeting families whose homes in the Netiv Ha’avot outpost were demolished last year, in the Elazar West Bank settlement, January 28, 2019. (Courtesy Gush Etzion Regional Council)

The government built the 15 evicted families a temporary village on an adjacent hilltop, which the prime minister was visiting this afternoon as part of his tour of the Gush Etzion Regional council southeast of Jerusalem.

Referring to the High Court of Justice decision sanctioning the razing, he says “we faced a setback.”

“We are a state of law subject to the decisions of the High Court of Justice, which ruled what it ruled,” he says.

Netanyahu also refers to the intensifying corruption investigations against him. “People are constantly asking me, how do you endure all the investigations and attacks on your family?”

“I withstand it all thanks to this place — the sense of mission you have. We returned to our homeland, to the ‘path of our forefathers,'” says Netanyahu, referring to the meaning behind the Netiv Ha’avot outpost’s name. “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob passed through here. We have been here for 3,000 years. We have returned to Israel and to our homeland.”

— Jacob Magid

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