Israel’s new government has openly rejected the Biden administration’s demand that it refrain from expanding Jewish settlements and extending Israeli sovereignty over the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria.
In a meeting this week with US Ambassador Tom Nides, the chair of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Yuli Edelstein, did not mince words:
“I expressed to the ambassador my clear position regarding the need for construction in the areas of settlement in Judea and Samaria. The families there are developing and it’s impossible to put their lives on hold. Construction should continue.”
Edelstein himself is a “Jewish settler” residing in the Etzion Bloc of communities south of Bethlehem.
His remarks echoed those of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu days earlier when he stressed that the Jewish people have “an exclusive and inalienable right to all parts of the Land of Israel.”
It is clear that the new Netanyahu government plans to take a very different approach to the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, even from that of previous Netanyahu governments.
Palestinians vow more violence
The Palestinian Authority has also signaled that it will not change course in the face of international pressure, and will continue encouraging terrorist violence against Israel and the Jewish people.
Hussein Al-Sheikh, the secretary-general of the PLO Executive Committee, the body that is the power behind the Palestinian Authority, addressed a gathering earlier this month with these inflammatory words:
“I would like to reassure you of our firm and unwavering commitment: Our martyrs, prisoners, and their families are where we cross the line.
“Even if we have one penny left, it will be spent on the families of the martyrs and prisoners…They are our purest, most permanent, loftiest, and most precious jewel.”
The “martyrs” and “prisoners” he referred to are Palestinian terrorists who have been killed or jailed as a result of attacking Israeli Jews.
The Palestinian Authority’s policy of paying generous monthly stipends to the families of these “martyrs” and “prisoners” is one of the primary obstacles to peace, as it provides a major incentive to engage in anti-Israel violence.
And the terrorism continues
An Israeli man aged about 30 years old was moderately wounded in a stabbing attack at Havat Yehuda, located near Shim’a in the South Hebron Hills region of Judea, on Wednesday.
Magen David Adom paramedics treated the man, who was conscious, on the scene for injuries to his upper body and then evacuated him in stable condition to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva.
The Palestinian assailant was shot, apparently by the victim, and wounded. The attacker later died of his injuries.
The victim has since been identified as Elyashiv Nahum, according to Israeli media.
Earlier Wednesday, Palestinian gunmen opened fire on the Salem military base and a nearby checkpoint in Samaria. No one was injured.
With reporting by JNS.
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