The White House has officially approved Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s exception for one new settlement for the Jews made homeless by the destruction of Amona. The United Nations, the PA, and anti-Israel NGO’s wasted no time in condemning the move.
The Israeli Cabinet unanimously approved on Thursday night the creation of a new settlement for the families displaced by the court-ordered destruction of Amona. This is the first new Jewish settlement the Israeli government has approved in Judea or Samaria since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993.
Prime Minister Netanyahu promised a new settlement in December to the residents in return for them evacuating their homes in the Benjamin region peacefully. This came as the resolution to a 12 year court battle initiated by Peace Now, a foreign funded anti-Israel NGO based in Israel, which claimed that a small portion of the settlement was built on vacant Arab owned land. A previous attempt at partial evacuation in 2006 saw 10,000 police and IDF troops facing 4,000 protesters. The new settlement will be built nearby in the Shilo Valley.
A US official told the Jerusalem Post on Thursday, “We would note that the Israeli prime minister made a commitment to the Amona settlers prior to President Trump laying out his expectations, and has consistently indicated that he intended to move forward with this plan.”
“Going forward, and as we move into more detailed discussions regarding the possibilities for advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace, the Israeli government has made clear that Israel’s intent is to adopt a policy regarding settlement activity that takes President Trump’s concerns into consideration,” the US official added.
At the cabinet meeting, Netanyahu informed the cabinet that he intended to accommodate President Trump by not approving new settlements and by less expansion of existing settlements.
“The Secretary General has consistently stressed that there is no Plan B for Israelis and Palestinians to live together in peace and security. He condemns all unilateral actions that, like the present one, threaten peace and undermine the two-state solution,” Dujarric said.
The two-state solution will require the destruction of communities, displacing approximately 420,000 Jews, roughly 42 times more than lived in Gush Katif when it was destroyed in 2005. This figure does not include 300,000 Jews living in East Jerusalem, which the Palestinian Authority has set as a precondition to negotiations. No Palestinians will be displaced by the plan, which Prime Minister Netanyahu described as ethnic cleansing.
Senior Palestinian legislator, Hanan Ashrawi, condemned the announcement of Trump’s support to the pres on Friday, saying it was a continuation of “systematic policies of settler colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing, showing a total and blatant disregard for Palestinian human rights.”
“Israel is more committed to appeasing its illegal settler population than to abiding by the requirements for stability and a just peace,” Ashrawi said.
Peace Now, the NGO responsible for the destruction of Amona was unsympathetic to the residents being relocated to owner-less land, responding in words that closely echoed those of the Palestinian Authority.
“By giving in to settler pressure, Netanyahu is leading Israelis and Palestinians to a reality of one state and apartheid,” the NGO wrote on its website.