(JNS.org) During a ceremony Wednesday at the Israeli Knesset marking the Gregorian calendar’s 50th anniversary of the 1967 Six-Day War, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to “preserve” and “strengthen” Israel’s settlement enterprise.
Netanyahu called for unity to support Jewish communities in territories restored to Israel in the 1967 war, during which the Israelis took control of eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from June 5-10. Israel had marked the Hebrew calendar’s 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification in May.
“I will do everything necessary to maintain settlement of Judea and Samaria. We can keep the settlements without bringing disaster if we know how to work together,” Netanyahu said Wednesday.
In separate comments Tuesday, Netanyahu said at a conference hosted by the Israeli Ministry for the Development of the Negev and the Galilee, “I came to tell you that the Golan Heights will always remain under Israeli sovereignty. We will never leave the Golan Heights. It is ours.”
Also Tuesday, an Israeli government panel approved what will be Judea and Samaria’s first newly constructed Jewish settlement in 25 years. One-hundred new homes will be built in the community of Amichai for the evicted residents of Amona, a settlement outpost housing 42 families that Israel razed in February due to Palestinian land ownership claims.
Earlier this week, in comments marking the Six-Day War’s anniversary, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres conveyed concern regarding Israel’s “occupation” in the disputed territories. Jewish organizations said the U.N. leader’s remarks lacked historical context.
“We are disappointed by the absence of any reference to many events over the past seven decades including the Arab rejection of the U.N. Partition Plan of 1947; the invasion of Israel by forces from five neighboring Arab countries following Israel’s declaration of statehood in May 1948; the provocations and violations of agreements that drove Israel into a defensive war in 1967; Israel’s strongly urging Jordan, which then occupied the West Bank, not to enter war; and the Arab League Khartoum Resolution after the Six-Day War calling for no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel and no negotiations with Israel,” said the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.