Netanyahu: I won’t evacuate settlements

NetanyahuPrime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has promised not to evacuate West Bank settlements. He made the comments Friday in Davos, Switzerland, amid three separate meetings he held there with US Secretary of State John Kerry on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. “I have no intention of evacuating any settlement or uprooting any Israelis,” Netanyahu said in Hebrew during a briefing for Israeli journalists on the nine-month negotiating cycle, which ends in April.  His statement, which runs counter to the assumption that a final-status agreement would involve the evacuation of settlements, was not republished by the Prime Minister’s Office. An Israeli official cautioned on Saturday night not to equate territorial concessions Israel might make to the Palestinians with statements about settlement evacuations. Netanyahu is “against uprooting settlements, but irrespective of where the final borders are going to be. He thinks Jews should be allowed to live in a future Palestinian state,” the official said. Palestinians have consistently rejected the idea of settlers remaining in their state and have insisted that Israel must evacuate all settlements and withdraw to the pre-1967 lines. More
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