Netanyahu building freeze prelude to new evacuation, warn settlers

Sunday, December 06, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Israeli settler leaders on Saturday warned that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's 10-month limited settlement freeze implemented under international pressure is a prelude to another round of uprooting Jews from lands claimed by the Palestinian Arabs.

During an emergency meeting of settler leaders in the Samarian town of Ofra, Likud MK Dani Danon called Netanyahu's decision a new "White Paper," referencing efforts by the British Mandate regime to severely curtail Jewish immigration to the Holy Land during the first half of the last century.

Settler leader Itzik Shadmi added, "You have to understand that what is happening here is the prelude to an evacuation, and anyone who does not understand this is not facing the truth."

The anti-settlement freeze lawmakers and local community leaders urged their supporters to engage in non-violent protest, such as a mass rally planned opposite the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem on Wednesday. They also vowed that building will continue in the settlements despite Netanyahu's decree.

Despite being nearly 300,000 strong, the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria view a mass evacuation as a very real possibility after former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon surprised everyone by actually uprooting over 10,000 Jews from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

Netanyahu insists that his settlement freeze in temporary and will not be repeated. But those who have been observing the Middle East conflict closely know that once Israel has made a major concession, international pressure rarely allows the Jewish state to return to go back on it.

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