US Congressmen: Judea-Samaria ‘Part of Israel’
JNS.org – Members of the House of Representatives spoke to an Israeli delegation this week about congressional support for the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, Israel National News reported.
The Shomron Regional Council, which provides municipal services for 35 Jewish towns, visited Washington, DC, meeting with more than a dozen Republican and Democratic legislators to discuss American support of the Israeli presence in the contested region.
“I want to say to all the people of Samaria that they are beloved by the American people, and we believe that Judea and Samaria are not the ‘West Bank’ but part of the state of Israel,” Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) told the delegation.
“There are people in the US Congress who, no matter what, will continue to work on behalf of Judea and Samaria, who will continue to do whatever they can to fight on behalf of Israel and ensure that you will never feel alone in this world,” Franks said in the meeting that included Texas representative Louie Gohmert, who echoed that sentiment.
The Council’s chairman, Yossi Dagan, urged Congress to pressure the Obama administration to stop demanding that Israel freeze Jewish building in Judea and Samaria.
“The pressure the American government is putting on the Israeli government to strangle settlement and block construction creates a situation where our children are forced to learn in caravans rather than normal buildings, like other children around the world,” Dagan said.
Halting construction prevents children in Judea and Samaria from living close to their parents due to lack of housing, he added.
“The international pressure has also prevented Israel from expanding the water infrastructure in Samaria as needed, which at the end of the day means both Israeli and Arab residents were left without water for much of this past summer,” Dagan said.
The Obama administration continues to strongly oppose the settlements and views them as a central obstacle in the peace process. As recently as this summer, US State Department Spokesperson John Kirby slammed Israel’s plans for further construction and, in the midst of negotiations for the US military aid package to Israel, US National Security Adviser Susan Rice noted that the White House maintains these views.