Provided by the Government Press Office
The Government of Israel’s decision on 13 December 1996 to restore
National Priority A status to the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria
put an end to four years of social and economic discrimination.
The Government’s decision is intended to reinstate social and economic
parity between the Jewish communities and other developing areas of the
country. Thus, for example, educators travelling to teach children in
Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria will once again be subsidized by
the government, as they were prior to 1992. These communities will now
enjoy the same benefits as do those in the Jordan Valley, the Golan, the
Gaza District and parts of the Negev and Galilee.
Consistent With Oslo
The Government’s decision is fully consistent with the agreements signed
by Israel and the Palestinians. Neither the Declaration of Principles of
13 September 1993 nor the Interim Agreement (“Oslo 2”) of 28 September
1995 contains any provisions prohibiting or restricting the establishment
or expansion of Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
Indeed, when he presented the Oslo 2 accords before the Knesset on 5
October 1995, the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin stated, “I wish to
remind you, we made a commitment, meaning we reached an agreement, we made
a commitment to the Knesset not to uproot any settlement in the framework
of the Interim Agreement, nor to freeze construction and natural growth.”
While there is a clause in the accords which prohibits changing the status
of the territories, it was intended to ensure only that neither side would
take unilateral measures to alter the legal status of the areas (such as
annexation or declaration of statehood).
No Change in Land Policy
The government decision does not call for the establishment of new
settlements, nor does it affect Israel’s strict policy not to requisition
private land for the establishment of settlements. Housing construction is
allowed only on public land after an exhaustive investigation has
confirmed that no private rights exist regarding the land in question.
Sending a Message to Terrorists
Jewish communities have flourished in Judea, Samaria and Gaza for
thousands of years. The aim of terrorists is to instill fear among the
residents of these communities and uproot them. The Government means to
ensure that the terrorists will not achieve their goal.
Settlements: policy clarification
Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser, April 19, 1999
In the wake of various reports on April 15th 1999,
the Prime Minister’s Media Advisor wishes to
clarify that Israel and the United States have always had
their differences on the matter of settlements.
With all due respect for the friendship between the two
countries, the Prime Minister is committed to ensure —
first and foremost — the interests of the State of Israel.
On various occasions, the Prime Minister has clearly told
the US Government that Israel’s policy is to enable the
development and expansion of existing communities in
Judea and Samaria, just as there is no restriction on the
continued expansion of Arab communities.
The Prime Minister added that, as is known, the
Government has no plans to build new communities in
Judea and Samaria.