Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the regime will not evacuate the settlements it has built in defiance of international law on the occupied Palestinian territories under any conflict resolution deal with Palestine.
“In any diplomatic plan, I will not allow the uprooting of a single settlement or a single settler, not a single settler,” Netanyahu said on Wednesday.
Netanyahu said the Israeli military would continue to operate in all of West Bank, including the Jordan Valley, adding “we will continue to build and develop” the settlements.
“Look at what we did in the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem [al-Quds]. To be continued,” he said, referring to two territories the regime captured during the 1967 Six Day War and later effectively annexed.
In March, US President Donald Trump formally recognized Israeli sovereignty over the occupied side of Syria’s Golan Heights.
In December 2017, Trump had also recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and later moved the US embassy to the occupied Palestinian city.
Israel has over the past decades built dozens of settlements on the occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories in defiance of international calls for the regime to stop its illegal construction activities.
Netanyahu’s comments come as Trump prepares to unveil a controversial deal aimed at resolving the decades-long conflict between Israel and Palestine.
The Palestinians have already rejected the deal, which is reportedly highly pro-Israel.
Washington last month held a conference in Bahrain, during which it unveiled the economic portion of what Trump has called the “deal of the century.” That event was boycotted by the Palestinians and all supporters of the Palestinian cause.
Recent revelations say under Trump’s deal, the settlement blocs in the occupied West Bank — which are illegal under international law and UN Security Council Resolution 2334 — will remain under the Israeli regime’s control and will expand to reach out to other isolated settlements.
On May 7, Israeli Hebrew-language daily newspaper Israel Hayom, which is close to Netanyahu, published a leaked document circulated by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, detailing the elements of the US back-channel “peace” plan.
Meanwhile, Israel’s TV channel 12 reported that the regime had approved the construction of 216 new settler units in a settlement south of Jerusalem al-Quds.
About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.