Israeli Prime Minister Binjamin Netanyahu visited the illegal settlement of Efrat in the occupied West Bank, promising that “no settler will be evicted.”
“What you are doing here is eternal,” Netanyahu told the illegal settlers. “From here, we see the past, present, and future. I have made a commitment that you are proving. At the end of the day, no town and no settler will be uprooted. We’re done with that.”
Netanyahu stressed that illegal settlements will be expanded, occupying more West Bank and Jerusalem land.
“Efrat will continue to grow and prosper, always.” he said.
“We stood up to enormous pressure and an complex international front, and we succeeded because we worked together and wisely.”
“Israel under my leadership will not repeat the mistakes of the past,” he said, referring to the 2005 dismantling of illegal settlements in the Gaza Strip under the leadership of Ariel Sharon.
In his speech, Netanyahu also stated that ‘Israel’ will continue to impose military rule over the occupied West Bank and will try to annex it.
“I am guided by several principles when it comes to the West Bank,” he said. “The first – this is our homeland. The second – we will continue to build and develop it. Third – not one resident [settler] or community [settlement] will be uprooted in a political agreement. Fourth – the Israeli military and security forces will continue to rule the entire territory, up to the Jordan Valley. Fifth – I am working to get international ratification of these principles.”
“Look at what we did in the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. To be continued,” he said, referring to two territories captured in the Six-Day War and later effectively annexed.
Since Trump came to power, the Israeli demolition of Palestinians houses and occupation of their lands to expand illegal settlements have dramatically increased. Illegal settlements cover about 10 percent of the occupied West Bank according to B’Tselem.
After decades of settlement-building, more than 400,000 Israelis now live in the territory, according to Israeli figures. The West Bank is home to some 2.9 million Palestinians, the Palestinian Statistics Bureau says.
A further 212,000 Israeli settlers live in East Jerusalem, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.