Netanyahu government: West Bank settlements top priority read full article at


JERUSALEM — Benjamin Netanyahu’s incoming hard-line authorities put West Financial institution settlement enlargement on the high of its checklist of priorities on Wednesday, a day earlier than it’s set to be sworn into workplace.

Netanyahu’s Likud get together launched the brand new authorities’s coverage pointers, the primary of which is that it’s going to “advance and develop settlement in all components of the land of Israel — within the Galilee, Negev, Golan Heights, and Judea and Samaria” — the Biblical names for the West Financial institution.

The dedication might put the brand new authorities on a collision course with its closest allies, together with the USA, which opposes settlement development on occupied territories.

Israel captured the West Financial institution in 1967 together with the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. The Palestinians search the West Financial institution because the heartland of a future unbiased state. Within the many years since, Israel has constructed dozens of Jewish settlements there that at the moment are dwelling to round 500,000 Israelis dwelling alongside round 2.5 million Palestinians.

Many of the worldwide group considers Israel’s West Financial institution settlements unlawful and an impediment to peace with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu’s new authorities — probably the most spiritual and hard-line in Israel’s historical past — is made up of ultra-Orthodox events, an ultranationalist spiritual faction and his Likud get together. It’s to be sworn in on Thursday.

A number of of Netanyahu’s key allies, together with a lot of the Spiritual Zionism get together, are ultranationalist West Financial institution settlers.

On Wednesday, incoming finance minister Bezalel Smotrich mentioned in an op-ed printed by the Wall Avenue Journal that there could be no “altering the political or authorized standing” of the West Financial institution, operating opposite to years of advocating annexation of your complete territory.

He leveled criticism on the “feckless army authorities” that manages civilian affairs for Israeli settlers, together with himself. Smotrich is ready to imagine management over the army authorities within the occupied West Financial institution beneath his second function — a newly created place as a minister within the Protection Ministry.

Netanyahu is returning to energy after he was ousted from workplace final 12 months after serving as prime minister from 2009 to 2021. He’ll take workplace whereas on trial for allegedly accepting bribes, breach of belief and fraud, prices he denies.

Netanyahu’s companions are looking for widespread coverage reforms that would alienate giant swaths of the Israeli public, increase tensions with the Palestinians, and put the nation on a collision course with the USA and American Jewry.

The Biden administration has mentioned it strongly opposes settlement enlargement and has rebuked the Israeli authorities for it previously.

Earlier on Wednesday, Israel’s figurehead president expressed “deep concern” in regards to the incoming authorities and its positions on LGBTQ rights, racism and the nation’s Arab minority in a uncommon assembly known as with Itamar Ben-Gvir, one of many coalition’s most radical members.

President Isaac Herzog met with Ben-Gvir, head of the Jewish Energy faction and inheritor to the outlawed politician Meir Kahane, after members of his get together known as for the legalization of discrimination towards LGBTQ folks based mostly on spiritual perception.

Herzog’s workplace mentioned the president urged Ben-Gvir to “calm the stormy winds and to be attentive to and internalize the criticism” in regards to the incoming authorities’s stance on LGBTQ points, Palestinian residents of Israel, and a invoice to take away a ban on politicians supporting racism and terrorism from serving within the Knesset, Israel’s parliament.

The federal government platform additionally talked about that the loosely outlined guidelines governing holy websites, together with Jerusalem’s flashpoint shrine identified to Jews because the Temple Mount and to Muslims because the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, would stay the identical.

Ben-Gvir and different Spiritual Zionism politicians had known as for the “established order” to be modified to permit Jewish prayer on the website, a transfer that risked inflaming tensions with the Palestinians. The standing of the location is the emotional epicenter of the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian battle.


About Ilan Ben Zion | AP

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