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Netanyahu: Israel will not build new settlements in vacated West Bank sites

March 23, 2023 at 8:50 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem [MENAHEM KAHANA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

After condemnation from the US, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government backed down from a plan to return to four abandoned illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, news agencies reported yesterday.

Early this week, the Israeli Knesset passed the second and third readings of a bill to allow Israeli settlers to resettle in four illegal settlements in the Occupied West Bank.

The US was among a number of international blocs and organisations to strongly criticise the plan.

The US State Department summoned Israeli Ambassador Mike Herzog for clarification on the decision.

“The decision of the Knesset to cancel parts of the Disengagement Law brings to an end discriminatory and humiliating legislation that prevented Jews from living in areas of the northern West Bank,” a statement from Netanyahu’s office said.

“The government has no intention of establishing new settlements in these areas,” the statement said, but did not clarify whether illegal settlers would be returned to the four settlements evacuated during the 2005 disengagement.

READ: Israel seizes 12 acres of Palestinian land in Ramallah, Salfit