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Israeli Cabinet to vote Sunday on extending nation’s laws over West Bank settlements

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads the weekly cabinet meeting, at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, on December 1, 2019. Photo by Marc Israel Sellem/POOL

During a tour of the Jordan Valley on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his pledge to apply Israeli law there and in other areas designated as Israeli territory under the newly unveiled White House peace plan.

“[U.S.] President Donald Trump said that he will recognize Israel’s application of sovereignty [over the relevant areas], and he will do so once we finalize the processes that have already begun,” said Netanyahu, referring to the joint Israeli-American effort to delineate the relevant territorial boundaries and deal with other technical matters required for the implementation of the peace plan.

During his tour of the area Netanyahu planted a sapling, as is customary on the Jewish holiday of Tu Bishvat, touted the Trump plan’s favorable terms and asked Israelis to give him a renewed mandate in the March 2 election to implement the plan.

“We are going to make history. After having the United States recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, we then got a statement from Trump in which he said that he will definitely recognize the application of Israeli law [in certain areas in Judea and Samaria],” said Netanyahu, adding the American support for Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan valley “is also pertinent to our ability to settle the heart of our land without restrictions. We have fought over this area since the days of Joshua and the Israelites. We are here to stay.”

Netanyahu stressed that this recognition would not be affected by Palestinian intransigence.

“This is not dependent on them [the Palestinians], this will happen once we complete mapping out the relevant areas,” he said.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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