Speaking on Monday night at a 50th anniversary celebration of the return to Yehudah and Shomron, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pledged that no Jewish communities would be uprooted in the region.
“My friends, I have to tell you that we have gone through a difficult period. But [now] there is momentum in development and construction in Yehudah and Shomron. We are leading this great endeavor together. There is no government that acted more for the sake of settlement than the government I headed,” Netanyahu said at the gathering at the town of Barkan in the Shomron.
He promised that “in the Land of Israel, no communities will be uprooted.”
In a reference to the unilateral evacuation in 2005 of the Jewish communities of Gush Katif in Gaza, he said: “It has been proven that this does not advance peace. We have uprooted communities and received rockets [in return]. It will not happen anymore. We will take care and watch over this place, and it protects us and is a strategic asset for Israel.”
Netanyahu added that “it’s simply wonderful to see the developments here. I remember when we came to Barkan and we saw the vineyards, we saw the grapes, we stomped on the grapes — but today there are new grapes here. In the [settlement of] Tapuach, there’s high-tech fruits, and this industry is ripe. We are working to advance industry, employment, water, tourism, public diplomacy and to fight against organizations calling for a boycott.”
Prior to his speech, the prime minister met with the parents of slain IDF soldier Hadar Goldin, Hy”d. He told them that during his meeting with U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres earlier in the day, he had raised the issue of the return of their son’s body, which is held by Hamas.
It was not reported how the Goldins, who have been bitterly critical of Netanyahu in recent days, alleging that his government has abandoned them, reacted to what he told them.