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Netanyahu: Jordan Valley Will Always Remain a Part of Israel

Netanyahu calls region 'strategic defensive belt for the country' in ceremony marking 50 years of Israeli settlement in Jordan Valley

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that Israel will never abandon the settlements in the Jordan Valley.
"The Jordan Valley will always remain a part of Israel. We will continue to settle it, invest in infrastructure and tourism," he said during a speech at a ceremony marking 50 years of Israeli settlement there.
"The Middle East is unstable and violent. The valley is a strategic defensive belt for the country, and without it the fundamentalist flood could reach the interior, up to Gush Dan. Thus, our eastern defensive line starts at this place. If we won't be here, Tehran and Hamastan will be here. We won't let that happen."
Regarding the Jordan Valley settlements, Netanyahu said Israel will never abandon them "because they are of utmost security importance to Israel." He said: "The Middle East is unstable and violent. The valley is a strategic defensive belt for the country, and without it the fundamentalist flood could reach the interior, up to Gush Dan. Thus, our eastern defensive line starts at this place. If we won't be here, Tehran and Hamastan will be here. We won't let that happen."
“This entire area should be a lever for international cooperation,” he added. “An area of peace, growth and prosperity for all the peoples of the region.”
He also mentioned Israel’s peace agreement with Jordan, adding, “On both sides of the Jordan [River], I see green. We’re settling and planting; they’re building and planting. This is precisely the place where we can expand regional cooperation.”
Over the past few months, Netanyahu has attended several events to mark the 50th anniversary of Israel’s capture of the West Bank during the 1967 Six-Day War. Last month, at a ceremony in the West Bank settlement bloc of Gush Etzion, he said, “There will be no more uprooting of communities in the Land of Israel – neither Jewish nor Arab.”
“This isn’t just a question of ties to the homeland,” he added on that occasion. “First and foremost, that isn’t the way to make peace.
“It’s not peace we got when we uprooted settlements; we got terror and missiles,” he continued, referring to Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005. “Therefore, we won’t repeat this.”
“Every area that falls into the hands of radical Islam becomes a base for destruction, violence and death,” he added. “Therefore, we won’t abandon our national home to danger.”

Yotam Berger
Haaretz Correspondent
read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.818231

Netanyahu Jordan Valley Will Always Remain a Part of Israel

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Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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