Photo: EPA
Prime Minister Netanyahu
Photo: EPA

Netanyahu: Trump and I agreed to form team on settlements

The prime minister says Israel and the US established teams to work together on many different issues, including examining the Jewish settlement in the West Bank.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday morning that he and US President Donald Trump have agreed to form a team to examine the Jewish settlement enterprise in the West Bank.



"We agreed to create joint teams to upgrade relations between Israel and the US in all of the main areas: Security, intelligence, cyber, technology, economics and many others. We also agreed to create a team in an area that we have not previously agreed on: I mean, of course, on settlement in Judea and Samaria," Netanyahu said at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting.


Elaborating on the prime minister's comments, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that "There is a need to conduct an ongoing discussion on issues that are on the agenda. As such, the Israeli ambassador in Washington has formed teams for this purpose. I believe that cooperation will be higher than it was with the previous administration and I expect good things. I expect building will recommence in all communities in the West Bank. Only then will the Palestinians understand and it will bring them to the negotiating table."


Netanyahu and Trump meet in Washington (Photo: MCT)
Netanyahu and Trump meet in Washington (Photo: MCT)


"The alliance between Israel and the US has always been steadfast but, I told them there and also here in Jerusalem: This alliance has become even stronger," Prime Minister Netanyahu, who returned from Washington on Friday, added.


"There is a personal connection of many years between President Trump and myself, and it is important. But it is even more important due to the second thing that has become stronger and this is the common view about the dangers and opportunities in the Middle East," Netanyahu continued.


"The two of us see eye to eye on the main—and growing—threat from Iran and the need to stand against Iranian aggression in the various spheres ... In the end we hope to achieve peace."


Before the cabinet meeting, Science, Technology and Space Minister Ofer Akunis claimed that "The idea of two states has disappeared from the agenda and that fact is huge and important. This is a big revolution in the discourse that common over the past eight years. President Trump has not pressured us like Obama, who saw nothing else other than the two-state solution, which would have put Israeli citizens in real danger."


Cabinet meeting (Photo: Olivia Pitusi) (Photo: Olivia Pitusi)
Cabinet meeting (Photo: Olivia Pitusi)


Prior to the meeting, around 100 demonstrators, some of them Amona evacuees, demanded that the new community Netanyahu promised them be constructed.


Several of the residents spoke with Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who told them, "The prime minister signed a deal with you and I, as a government minister, will see to it that commitments be fulfilled."


Bennett also said that he went to the Prime Minister's Office to go over timetables for establishing the new community.  


Amona demonstrators demanding their new community (Photo: Mateh Amona)  (Photo: Mateh Amona)
Amona demonstrators demanding their new community (Photo: Mateh Amona)


Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev also addressed Amona evacuees before entering the cabinet meeting, saying, "I am going now to the prime minister to tell him that 'promises need to be kept.'"


Amona residents have already chosen land near Shilo for the establishment of a new community. According to the agreement, work is set to begin in March.


Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel also addressed the Amona issue on Sunday morning, saying, "We owe the people of Amona a new community in the West Bank. I don’t see how the coalition can continue working effectively without honoring its commitments to the people of Amona and Israel."


פרסום ראשון: 02.19.17, 11:50
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