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Netanyahu Celebrates with Settlers US Decision

Netanyahu Celebrates with Settlers US Decision

Wednesday, 20 November, 2019 - 07:45
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) meets with heads of Israeli settlement authorities at the Alon Shvut settlement, in the Gush Etzion block in the occupied the West Bank on November 19, 2019. (Photo by Menahem KAHANA / AFP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to the West Bank on Tuesday to celebrate Washington’s announcement that it does not consider Israeli settlements to violate international law.

Speaking at a gathering of ecstatic supporters and settler leaders in Alon Shvut, a settlement outside of Jerusalem, Netanyahu called the Trump administration’s declaration a “huge achievement” that “fixed a historic wrong.”

“I think it is a great day for the state of Israel and an achievement that will remain for decades,” he said.

Later Tuesday, Netanyahu said the US decision “gives us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to annex the Jordan Valley, an area in the West Bank seen as the breadbasket of a Palestinian state.

In a video, he called on his political rivals, with whom he is currently in coalition talks, to form a unity government and make annexing the area its first priority.

The Palestinians, who claim the West Bank as part of a future state, condemned the US decision. They and other countries said the move undercuts any chances of a broader peace deal.

Over 400,000 settlers now live in the West Bank, in addition to more than 200,000 settlers in east Jerusalem, the Palestinian’s hoped-for capital.

The Palestinians and the international community say that settlements are illegal and prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.

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