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June 7, 2017 4:05 pm

On 50th Anniversary of Six-Day War, Netanyahu Pledges to ‘Preserve, Strengthen’ Settlements

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Screenshot. – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to “preserve” and “strengthen” Israel’s settlement enterprise during a Wednesday ceremony at the Israeli Knesset to mark the Gregorian calendar’s 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War.

Netanyahu called for unified support for Jewish communities in territories Israel captured in the 1967 war, which included eastern Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula

“I will do everything necessary to maintain settlement of Judea and Samaria. We can keep the settlements without bringing disaster if we know how to work together,” Netanyahu said.

On Tuesday, an Israeli government panel approved construction of Amichai, which will be the first new Jewish settlement in the West Bank in 25 years. One-hundred new homes will be erected for the evicted residents of Amona, a settlement outpost that housed 42 families before it was razed by Israel in February due to Palestinian land ownership claims.

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Separately on Tuesday, at a conference hosted by the Israeli Ministry for the Development of the Negev and the Galilee, Netanyahu said, “I came to tell you that the Golan Heights will always remain under Israeli sovereignty. We will never leave the Golan Heights. It is ours.”

Earlier this week, in comments marking the Six-Day War’s anniversary, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres conveyed concern regarding Israel’s “occupation” in the disputed territories. Jewish organizations said the UN leader’s remarks lacked historical context.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations responded to that remark, saying it was  “disappointed by the absence of any reference to many events over the past seven decades including the Arab rejection of the UN Partition Plan of 1947; the invasion of Israel by forces from five neighboring Arab countries following Israel’s declaration of statehood in May 1948; the provocations and violations of agreements that drove Israel into a defensive war in 1967; Israel’s strongly urging Jordan, which then occupied the West Bank, not to enter war; and the Arab League Khartoum Resolution after the Six-Day War calling for no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel and no negotiations with Israel.”

The Jewish state marked the Hebrew-lunar calendar’s 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification in May, while June 5-10 mark the 1967 war’s dates in the Gregorian calendar.

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