Netanyahu Addresses U.S. Disengagement Law Amendment Concerns

(Israel Hayom, Hamodia) —
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu arrives to a Cabinet meeting, at the Prime Minister’s Office in Yerushalayim. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

Netanyahu announced Wednesday that the repeal of parts of the Disengagement Law will not result in new construction in Yehudah and Shomron.

“The Knesset’s decision to repeal parts of the Disengagement Law put an end to a discriminatory and humiliating act that prevented Jews from residing in northern Shomron, which is part of our historical homeland,” the Prime Minister’s Office said, noting that “it’s no coincidence that senior officials of the opposition supported this move.” The statement stressed that despite the passage, “the government has no plans to re-establish settlements there.”

The U.S. State Department issued a statement expressing its displeasure at the legislation.

“The deputy secretary conveyed U.S. concern regarding legislation passed by the Israeli Knesset rescinding important aspects of the 2005 Disengagement Law, including the prohibition on establishing settlements in the northern West Bank,” the statement said.

State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said that the amendment was “particularly provocative and counterproductive” to efforts to restore calm ahead of “Ramadan and Passover.”

The Disengagement Plan was created by then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and was endorsed by then-President George W. Bush. Its main component was the eviction of thousands of settlers from the Gaza Strip in the hopes of stopping Hamas’s rocket attacks and creating legitimacy for Israeli action. It also included a similar measure in northern Shomron involving the demolishing of four Jewish communities.

Patel continued: “We have been clear that advancing settlements is an obstacle to peace and the achievement of a two-state solution.”

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