Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the regime will return to settlement construction after a “temporary” moratorium on new construction in the occupied West Bank.
Netanyahu said on Tuesday that a 10-month settlement freeze he had earlier announced was only a “one-time, temporary” move, the Israeli media reported.
Israel has rejected all international demands for the permanent freeze on building settlements in the occupied territories.
“The future final-status accord in Judea and Samaria will be determined at the end of negotiations and not a day earlier,” he added.
He made the remarks amid sharp criticism from Israeli rightists who vowed to defy the government decision and “do everything” to continue the constructions.
The building of settlements in the occupied territories has been a key point of contention in the ‘peace’ talks between the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority. The Islamic Hamas resistance movement rejects peace talks with the Israeli regime and insists than peace for Palestinians will only come through resistance.
“I know the decision not to approve any additional construction is not easy to accept. It’s not easy for the settlers, and it’s hard even for me,” he proclaimed.
Earlier in the day, West Bank settlers clashed with inspectors who were to enforce the moratorium on construction, a military official said.
Israel keeps 242 settlements in the West Bank, where more than 187,000 settlers live.