(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday he would honor his promise to build a new settlement in Judea and Samaria for the evicted residents of Amona, an illegal outpost housing 42 families that was razed in February.
“To the settlers of Amona, I repeat, I gave you my word to build a new settlement and I will honor my commitment,” Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting.
Netanyahu made the remarks hours before meeting with Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s international negotiations representatives. The prime minister said he hopes Israel can reach an understanding on its future settlement activities with the Trump administration.
Last month, after meeting with Trump at the White House, Netanyahu agreed to restrain settlement construction and expansion. The two leaders had also agreed to postpone the construction of a new settlement for evacuated Amona residents. In response, Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett and other members of Netanyahu’s governing coalition had said they could not imagine the prime minister reneging on his promise to the evacuees.
If built, the settlement slated to replace Amona would be the first new settlement in Judea and Samaria since the 1993 Oslo Accords. Netanyahu has not provided any specific timeline for its construction.
Thursday marked the second meeting between Netanyahu and Greenblatt this week. They concluded their latest meeting with a joint statement asserting their commitment to advancing a “true, sustainable peace between Israel and the Palestinians that will strengthen Israel’s security and stability in the region.”