Illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank ensure Israel’s security, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced yesterday evening at an event celebrating the Jewish New Year.
In his toast at the event, held in the settlement of Vered Yeriho, which overlooks the Palestinian city of Jericho, Lieberman emphasized how settlements were increasingly necessary as Israel faces threats from missiles and cyber-attacks.
“From my perspective, it’s clear that the settlements in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank], and those here in the area of Jericho and the Dead Sea, are the State of Israel’s true defensive wall,” he said.
Lieberman says Israel's illegal outposts are a "protection" against "outsider threats" & vows to keep building them https://t.co/D4Zg0QM7Bj
— Sarah Wilkinson (@swilkinsonbc) September 18, 2017
Lieberman used the event, attended by numerous settler leaders, as an opportunity to emphasize his commitment to construction in the occupied territories, alleging that he has done more for settlement building than anyone else over the past 17 years.
He referred to his role in granting settlers in Hebron a separate municipal authority to better cater to their needs and his approval of the construction boom witnessed since US President Donald Trump took office, which has seen the marketing of 3,500 settler units and plans to build some 8,000 more.
Lieberman, who lives in a settlement himself, promised to complete a plan to protect all the settlements with smart fences and better access roads by November.
— FRANCE 24 (@FRANCE24) August 29, 2017
The speech came on the eve of a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump, during which they will discuss upcoming peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Despite Trump also advising Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “hold off on settlements for a bit”, Israel has progressed faster on its construction program.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)