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After crushing his Likud rival Gideon Sa’ar in the Likud primary elections on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at a meeting of Likud activists at Airport City outside Tel Aviv on Friday morning and expressed his deep thanks to his supporters.

“Yesterday, I received a new, enormous mandate from the Likud,” he said.

Netanyahu pointed out that in 2017 the U.S. administration had recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and in 2018 had relocated the U.S. embassy in Israel to the city, not to mention leaving the 2015 Iran deal. “And this year, we annexed the Golan Heights, and [the U.S.] stated that settlements are legal,” he said.

“Our rivals would not have achieved that—not only because they aren’t capable of it, but because that is not their path. In the next few years, we will decide on our borders. We will get the Americans to recognize the application of Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley, and all the settlements in Judea and Samaria, and we will make peace deals with Arab states,” declared Netanyahu.

The prime minister thanked everyone who had worked on his campaign to be re-elected.

“I thank all the campaign workers, Foreign Minister Israel Katz, and Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev. I thank all [Likud] ministers, deputy ministers, MKs, mayors, heads of local campaign offices, volunteers and activists—I thank the Likud!” he said.

Katz and Regev spearheaded Netanyahu’s campaign.

“For 11 years, I had to battle American policy that demanded concessions that would have endangered our security. I stood up to them, and I stood alone against the [Iran] nuclear deal,” he added.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.


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