Israeli sources have reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has assured his party ministers and Knesset members about the future of settlement activity in the West Bank. He emphasised that the purpose of his speech to the Knesset was “to formulate a broad national consensus” on the settlement blocs which will, he insists, remain under Israel control. His speech raised concerns in the Zionist state about the future status of individual settlements outside the major blocs.
According to Israel National News, Netanyahu met Likud Party ministers and Knesset members on the eve of his trip to Washington. He stressed that the purpose was not to make specific decisions about individual settlements, but to achieve a broad consensus.
Israel’s Prime Minister said that “the word ‘blocs’ means different things in different contexts” and that when he used it at the Knesset, he did not expressly exclude settlements outside the major blocs.
“Maybe for the Knesset that [what was said in the Knesset speech] did not work,” Netanyahu added, “but I feel for the public, for public relations, it worked. What I said is that everything is based on the conditions: recognition of Israel, a united Jerusalem and no right of return [for Palestinian refugees].”