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An Israeli cabinet minister rejects US criticism of settlements

By 02/14/2023 8:41 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff

Despite resistance from the Biden administration, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich vowed on Tuesday to support unrestricted construction in Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.

The Security Cabinet on Sunday unanimously resolved to legalize nine outposts, and Smotrich stated at a meeting of his Religious Zionism Party in Givat Harel that “the genuine reaction to [Palestinian] terror is to continue to expand, to continue to lay roots in the Land of Israel.”

“We as a government, as a state, as a country, must do it. He said that the pioneers who have supported the settlement venture for many years with tremendous passion and tenacity are to be commended for its success.

The [Biden] administration is aware that our government is dedicated to the settlements, he continued, adding that “the American response is justified.” There is nothing improper with two friends arguing.

They comprehend, and things will stay that way moving forward.

Smotrich added that the government must remove all impediments to Judea and Samaria’s total development.

He declared, “That is what will happen; this land must be treated exactly like any other part of the State of Israel.”

The Defense Ministry body responsible for approving new construction in Judea and Samaria, the Civil Administration Higher Planning Committee, was called into session in the coming days to support new residential units in other existing communities outside the Green Line, the Security Cabinet also announced on Sunday.

Smotrich, a minister in the Defense Ministry who has been given responsibility for managing the Civil Administration by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, declared that he would shortly forward plans to build an extra 10,000 homes in Judea and Samaria.

According to a statement by Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday, the U.S. responded by saying it was “deeply troubled” by the potential move to “advance reportedly nearly 10,000 settlement units and to begin a process to retroactively legalize nine outposts in the West Bank that were previously illegal under Israeli law.”

According to the State Department, its position is consistent with those of previous Democratic and Republican administrations, which “strongly reject such unilateral moves, which heighten tensions and impair the prospects for a negotiated two-state solution.”

After a terrorist incident in Jerusalem claimed the lives of three Israelis, including children, the Security Cabinet authorized the restrictions.



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