Two million Jews in Judea and Samaria, Likud MKs promise

With the Israeli election date only two months away, dozens of Likud lawmakers signed a declaration demanding extensive Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The Nachala Settlement Movement registered a significant achievement leading up to Tuesday’s Likud primaries as dozens of party ministers and MKs signed onto its declaration calling for vast settlement of Jews in Judea and Samaria.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Likud Ministers Yisrael Katz, Yariv Levin, Ze’ev Elkin, Gilad Erdan, Miri Regev and Tzachi Hanegbi were among the signatories. This would be a significant shift in policy for the Likud, which has built little over the last several years in Judea and Samaria, leading to a decline in the area’s Jewish population growth.

Party leaders from the right of the Likud, including Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett of the New Right party, also signed on.

The pro-settlement group’s goal is to promote a plan, envisioned during Yitzhak Shamir’s government in the 1980s, to bring two million Jews to the region, thereby preventing the creation of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria.

The 1991 Madrid Conference took place under pressure from the United States. It was the first time that an Israeli government spoke officially with Palestinians about “land for peace,” although Shamir, who was prime minister at the time, insisted that the Palestinians be in a joint delegation with Jordan.

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The Nachala movement wants the government to prepare a detailed, official plan to settle Jews throughout Judea and Samaria, with the building of 10 new villages and one full-fledged city as a first step.

The movement, which is led by Daniella Weiss, a settlement activist and former member of the Jewish town of Kedumim, see its plan as a way to reverse the trend of the last 25 years in which Israel has given up parts of the country in exchange for increasing Palestinian terror.

Nachala backers have been protesting near the prime minister’s home in Jerusalem for the last two weeks.

“Now that the people of Israel and its elected officials are in an atmosphere of elections, it is vital to raise the vision of the Land of Israel to the top of the national agenda and demand that the vision be the top priority of the government that will be elected,” the movement declared in a statement before that protest.