President Reuven Rivlin said during talks with settler leaders on Monday that Israel had a “right” to build settlements in the West Bank, his office said in a statement.
“I love the land of Israel with all my heart. I have never and will never give up on this land. For me, our right to this land is not a matter of political debate. It is a basic fact of modern Zionism,” Rivlin said,
For Rivlin the “land of Israel” includes the West Bank where Jewish settlements are considered illegal under international law.
The settlements are considered a major obstacle to peace negotiations with the Palestinians, who see the land as part of a future independent state.
Western nations have called repeatedly on Israel to halt such projects.
“We must not give anyone the sense that we are in any doubt about our right to our land. For me, the settlement of the land of Israel is an expression of that right, our historical right, our national right,” Rivlin said.
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