Netanyahu: Israeli Settlement in West Bank Important, but Must Be Done Legally

PM says settlers must not build homes on private lands, and that Israel's efforts must focus on strengthening existing settlements.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that he intends on operating according to Israeli law when it comes to dismantling illegal outposts in the West Bank.

"The settlement movement is important to everyone and to me as well," Netanyahu said during a Likud faction meeting. "However, our efforts must focus on strengthening our existing settlements and not battling the law."

Benjamin Netanyahu - Emil Salman
Emil Salman

Netanyahu stressed that settlers in the West Bank must stop setting up illegal outposts, saying that there are enough places to build homes in the settlements that are not someone's private land.

"We will continue preserving the settlement as well as the law, and there is no contradiction between the two," he said.

Netanyahu noted that the decision to build 2,000 new housing units as a response to the Palestinian membership of UNESCO only pertains to areas that are expected to remain in Israeli control under any future peace agreement.

Several outposts in the West Bank are due to be dismantled at the end of 2011 following a Peace Now petition to the High Court.

קראו כתבה זו בעברית: נתניהו על הפינוי הצפוי: ההתיישבות חשובה, אך נפעל במאחזים על פי החוק