Netanyahu Calls Expansion of New West Bank Settlement an ‘Honour’

Published June 20th, 2017 - 03:00 GMT

"After decades, I have the honour to be the first prime minister to build a settlement in Judea and Samaria." - Benjamin Netanyahu (AFP)
"After decades, I have the honour to be the first prime minister to build a settlement in Judea and Samaria." - Benjamin Netanyahu (AFP)

Construction of the first new West Bank settlement in 25 years began Tuesday, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin calling it an "honour" to make good on the promised outpost.

The expansion of existing settlements on the West Bank - territory which Israel occupied during a conflict in 1967 - has been a major point of contention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. About 600,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem.

According to Israeli rights group Peace Now, the new settlement will be the first official one since 1991, correcting the year from 1992.

"After decades, I have the honour to be the first prime minister to build a settlement in Judea and Samaria," Netanyahu said, calling the West Bank by its biblical name. "There was not, and there will never be, as good a government for the settlements as ours," the prime minister added.

The new settlement is intended to house residents of the West Bank outpost of Amona after it was demolished in February. The plan was condemned in March both at home and abroad, with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres expressing "disappointment and alarm."



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